USS North Dakota Christening - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

USS North Dakota Christening

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Today is a historic day for our state, as the USS North Dakota is christened in Groton Connecticut.

More than 100 North Dakotans along with Governor Jack Dalrymple and Senators Heidi Heikamp and John Hoeven are in Connecticut for the celebration.

This morning the ship Sponsor, Katie Fowler, officially christened the ship.

Jon Berg is in Connecticut.

The SSN 784, also known as the USS North Dakota is the second U.S. Navy ship to be named after the state, the previous ship, the BB-29 was commissioned back in 1910.

Now this ship will be commissioned in May of 2014, but before it's commissioned, it receives a proper Christening Celebration.

Once every year a christening event is held in Groton Connecticut, and this year all the attention is on North Dakota.

"It is today the fastest growing state in the nation, we are strong, and prosperous, we produce almost a million barrels of oil a day second only to Texas and they better start looking over their shoulder, and you know what today we've got something else we're going to brag about, that's the USS North Dakota," Senator John Hoeven said.

The state's last submarine was decommissioned in 1923, and pieces of the century old ship still hold a place at the state capitol.

"At swearing in ceremonies and the opening of our legislative sessions, at the memorial hall in our state capitol we serve punch from the silver service that was on the original USS North Dakota," Governor Jack Dalrymple said.

But in just a matter of months, this brand new undersea warship will begin protecting our nation for decades.

"As North Dakotans, when we look at this amazing ship, and we realize the pride and the workmanship that went into this and that when you built this boat you built a boat that was worthy of the great people of our state and for that we thank you," Senator Heidi Heitkamp said.

"I along with my husband and all North Dakotans wish her God Speed as her historic legacy begins," Ship Sponsor, Katie Fowler said.

"We couldn't be more proud to have this mighty submarine bear the name, North Dakota," Dalrymple said.

The USS North Dakota is Nuclear Powered, meaning that for the 33 years it patrols the seas, it will never have to refuel.

The last ship to be Christened in Groton was the USS Minnesota --- it was christened last year, on October 27, 2012.

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