New U.S. Navy sub takes on mythical name

The first USS New Jersey was a turn-of-the-century battleship that circumnavigated the globe for two years as part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet.” The next was a World War II naval legend, earning nine battle stars in the Pacific theater before returning to service three more times over the next 50 years: in Korea, Vietnam and in the dying days of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Now the latest USS New Jersey is back on the high seas, a nuclear-powered, cruise missile-armed fast attack submarine, designed to take on new adversaries like China and Russia in both littoral and thorough water missions.

On Saturday, the Navy will christen the USS New Jersey (SSN 796) during a ceremony in Newport News, Va. Retired Adm. Michael Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be the principal speaker at the ceremony to be held at Huntington Ingalls Industry.

“The impressive community of men and women involved in the construction of the future USS New Jersey should be extremely proud as they continue a legacy of extraordinary USS New Jersey ships and the future of our maritime security,” Adm. Mullen said in a statement. “Shipbuilding has always played a meaningful role in shaping the future of our national security.”

The Virginia-class submarines have been designed to conduct a variety of missions, including anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare. They also have been fitted to conduct clandestine missions involving special operations forces units, such as Navy SEALS. They are replacing the Los Angeles-class submarines now being retired from the fleet, U.S. Navy officials said.

The second USS New Jersey was commissioned in 1943 and now serves as a museum ship in Camden, N.J.



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