.

In Quonset, First Lady Thanks Submarine Builders, Navy Crew

As the ship's sponsor, Obama will serve as a ceremonial representative of the ship and its crew and she promised to "really do her job well."

First Lady Michelle Obama was in North Kingstown on Monday during a keel laying ceremony in Quonset. (Photo: The White House)
First Lady Michelle Obama was in North Kingstown on Monday during a keel laying ceremony in Quonset. (Photo: The White House)
First Lady Michelle Obama thanked the men and women working at General Dynamics' Electric Boat facility in Quonset on Monday, calling them "outstanding folks" working hard to make to make the USS Illinois, a new Virginia-class submarine being built here in North Kingstown, a reality.

In a keel laying ceremony before a crowd of federal, state and local officials, as well as Navy family and workers and officials from EB, the First Lady said their hard work is what enables the United States Navy to patrol the world's seas in an ongoing and essential mission to keep watch on America's behalf.

"No matter what's going on in the world, whether we're at war or at peace, the Navy is always out there, watching out for our nation at any given time," Obama said. "You're gathering crucial intelligence and taking on some of our most dangerous missions, often providing the quickest response to emerging threats around the globe."

Following her remarks, which heaped praise on the men and women who will serve as the ships first Navy crew along with the machinists, welders, electricians and workers bringing the $2.7 billion submarine to life, Obama signed a slab of metal that will be welded to her hull. As the ship's sponsor, Obama will serve as a ceremonial representative of the ship and its crew and she promised to "really do her job well."

"I'm here not just as a representative of my family, but as a representative of a grateful nation and I'm going to do my best to honor your service by being a really good sponsor," she said. "I'm going to think of you always but more importantly, going to use every fiber in my body to make sure we live in a country that will never forget your service."

After signing the slab, welder Michael Macomber of Middletown etched her script into a permanence, binding her name to the legacy of the USS Illinois, which bears the name of her home state and is expected to begin sea trials in 2016.

The submarine will weigh 7,800 tons, run 377 feet in length and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It also features a nuclear reactor plant that won't require refueling during the ships planned lifetime.

The selection of Illinois, designated SSN 786, is the second ship to bear the state name and is home to the Navy’s one and only Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes where every enlisted sailor begins his or her service. 

"This vessel will be technologically unmatched," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said.

The USS Illinois is the 13th submarine of its class. In April, the Navy announced it had awarded a $17 billion contract to General Dynamics to build 10 more submarines, ensuring Quonset will remain a hive of activity for years to come.





Leave RI June 03, 2014 at 08:46 AM
Did it use it's real name of Ru Paul?
Jack Baillargeron June 03, 2014 at 12:59 PM
lol
solomon June 03, 2014 at 09:17 PM
bet there was a buffet
lee bourke June 04, 2014 at 08:46 AM
When having a choice of being right or kind always choose being kind.....a pollyanna/

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »