Northrop Grumman Corporation's Newport News sector hosted a keel laying ceremony
for the second Virginia-class submarine, Texas (SSN 775). Laura Bush is the Ship's Sponsor and served as the keel authenticator for the ceremony.
Mrs. Bush authenticated the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. Her initials were then welded and the plate will be permanently affixed to the submarine. "A mighty American submarine deserves
a mighty American name," she said. "I can't think of a better name than Texas."
Northrop Grumman's Newport News sector is teamed with General
Dynamics Electric Boat to build the first four ships of the
Virginia-class. Texas is the second ship of the Virginia-class.
"Skilled professionals will forge the newest alloys and technology into one of the most sophisticated ships in the world," said Mrs. Bush. "The Texas will represent America's iron fist, which our country uses to protect our citizens and to help our neighbors and
allies around the world."
The keynote speaker for the ceremony was U.S. Sen. John Warner
of Virginia. Other ceremony participants included Northrop Grumman
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kent Kresa, Northrop Grumman
Newport News President Tom Schievelbein, Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner,
Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, Chief of Naval Operations Adm.
Vern Clark and Electric Boat President Mike Toner.