The Navy christened its newest attack submarine, New Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008, during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va. Rep. Heather A. Wilsonof New Mexico delivered the ceremony's principal address.
Designated SSN 779, New Mexico is named in recognition of the people of the 'Land of Enchantment'. The submarine began construction under a unique teaming arrangement between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat in 2004. The battleship New Mexico (BB-40) (1918-1946), the only other ship named after the 47th state, earned six battle stars for World War II service, which included providing shore bombardment support for landings in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, and at Guam, Tinian, Saipan, the Philippines and Okinawa.
The sixth Virginia-class submarine, New Mexico is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; battle group support; and mine warfare missions . By doing so, New Mexico will directly enable five of the six Navy Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
Cmdr. Mark A. Prokopius, a native of Seven Hills, Ohio, is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel.
The 7,800 ton New Mexico is 377 ft long, has a 34 ft beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 ft and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.
7. Cruise West Launches Redesigned Website
Cruise West, provider of small-ship exploration voyages, is launching a redesigned Web site, www.cruisewest.com, featuring a fresh new look that better reflects the company’s brand. Attributes include improved consumer appeal and streamlined navigation that is user-friendly, making information easier to access with one or two clicks.
"Enhancements include more enticing images that relate to specific itineraries and improved navigation enabling consumers, travel agents and media to easily locate the information they are seeking," said President & CEO Dietmar R. Wertanzl. "Our goal with the redesign was to excite through imagery and offer concise content that will answer their questions and provoke interest in Cruise West products."
Cruises are now searchable by destination, interest, departure date, duration of cruise and ship. A robust video gallery allows consumers to view clips from select cruise destinations that illustrate what to expect from a Cruise West voyage. Further, there is a schedule of live online Webinar presentations, where consumers and travel agents can learn more about Cruise West and specific cruise destinations. The Webinars are designed to be informative and each presentation offers a question and answer session.