Governor, U.S. Navy Secretary announce “USS Utah”

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Gov. Gary R. Herbert and U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the next Virginia-class attack submarine USS Utah (SSN 801) Tuesday during a special naming ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda that included Navy servicemembers and family members of local Medal of Honor recipients.

“This ship is about our future.” Gov. Herbert said. “As Roosevelt said, we must speak softly and carry a big stick. The USS Utah will represent our strength abroad as it travels the world protecting those at home.”

The privilege of naming naval ships lies with the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus. Secretary Mabus said ships are named as an expression of gratitude and support for the values of the people of the state serving as eponym. He also confirmed the number 801 was chosen intentionally as a nod to Utah.

Construction of the USS Utah will commence in 2019 and the submarine will be delivered to the Navy in 2022, where it will operate for four decades. The USS Utah will be equipped with the latest technology available, which the governor noted reflected the state’s commitment to innovation.

This is the second USS Utah in Naval history. The original battleship was announced in 1903 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt’s Naval Secretary. In 1941, the first USS Utah was hit by two Japanese torpedoes and sunk at Pearl Harbor, where its wreckage remains today.

Utah has a proud tradition of Navy personnel that is uncommon in a landlocked state. There are nearly 3,000 Navy and Marine Corp veterans in Utah. Additionally, from 1943-1962, the world’s largest naval supply was located in Clearfield.