Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) christened the eighth submarine of the Virginia class, California (SSN 781), at the company's Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va.
Donna Willard, the ship's sponsor, performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the submarine's hull. She is the wife of Adm. Robert F. Willard, the current Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.
Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, served as the keynote speaker.
"We know that the work we do is important," said Mike Petters, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "We know we are a critical part of the Navy/industry team that produces the most sophisticated and complex ships to keep our nation safe. We know we have to earn our place on that team with each and every weld with each and every pipe and with each and every test. We do this by never losing focus on what our founder, Collis P. Huntington, committed to 125 years ago, when he promised 'Always Good Ships'."
Other ceremony participants included U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.); U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.); Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, vice chief of Naval Operations; Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion; Rear Adm. David Johnson, program executive officer for Submarines; and John Casey, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.
Guests included Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat employees who are building California,and their families; family and friends of the California crew; U.S. Navy personnel; and government officials.
In conjunction with California's christening, Team Submarine launched an interactive learning event to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona, Calif. During the month-long event students, teachers and parents watched the christening, will learn about submarines through exhibits and participate in an interactive submarine simulation called Mission Ocean. These STEM events are being held at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona today, at the Admiral Kidd Conference Center in San Diego on Nov. 15 and at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 18.
California, the eighth ship of the Virginia class, is named after the "Golden State." The ship's motto is, "Silence is Golden."