PCU New Hampshire (SSN 778) sponsor Cheryl McGuinness and General Dynamics Electric Boat President John P. Casey formally christen the fifth Virginia class submarine Saturday, June 21, 2008 at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn. McGuinness, a resident of Portsmouth, H.H., lost her husband, Tom, on September, 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center attacks. He was a co-pilot on American Airlines Flight 11. U.S. Navy photo by John Narewski
By Lt. James Stockman, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs
The Navy christened its newest Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine "" June 21, at General Dynamics Electric Boat at
This christening marks the fourth time the U.S. Navy named a ship after the . The service awarded the name to the submarine after third-graders from in , wrote letters to Congress members, the governor and the Secretary of the Navy.
Adm. Kirkland Donald, Naval Nuclear Propulsion director, gave the principal remarks and spoke about the 's way ahead.
"There still is a lot of hard work to be done," said Donald. " is entering the fleet during a time of conflict. The missions of this new submarine are vital to victory in this war on terrorism."
Ship sponsor Cheryl McGuinness, a resident of , , christened the boat by breaking a bottle of sparkling champagne over the submarine at the shipyard. Her husband, Tom, died on Sept. 11, 2001. He co-piloted American Airlines Flight 11, an aircraft flowen into the north tower of the that day.
"I'm looking at many heroes," said McGuinness as she spoke to the more than 130 crew members standing before her. "You are all my heroes."
McGuinness added after the ceremony that the symbolizes a new journey of protecting freedom. She says she plans to do all she can to support the and it's crew.
is scheduled to be commissioned in October at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in .
As the Navy's next-generation attack submarine, the class will provide the U.S. Navy with the capabilities it requires to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and Special Warfare enhancements that will enable it to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.