NORFOLK, Va. (FOX 47) -- The U.S. Navy's newest nuclear-power attack submarine, the USS Minnesota, was commissioned at the Naval Station Norfolk over the weekend to the cheers of Navy brass, visiting dignitaries and the families of the 134 crewmen.
It is the 10th Virginia-class attack sub in the fleet.
Four of the crew members are actually from Minnesota.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie led a Minnesota delegation to the ceremony, which included State Representative Mike Benson of Rochester, an announced candidate for U.S. Congress in the First District. State Representative Brian Johnson of Cambridge took a photo of the crew standing at attention atop the submarine.
"The work of the more than a thousand shipyard craftsmen and engineers who built this boat have helped make the Fleet stronger and our nation safer," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "Their dedication and expertise led to the delivery of the world's most advanced submarine almost a year ahead of schedule and on budget."
The USS Minnesota was out on its sea trials off the Virginia coast in early May.
The Minnesota is 377-feet long and has a beam of 34 feet--it can dive to depths of 800 feet and head out for three months before needing re-supply. One thing it will never need is re-fueling; the nuclear-powered submarine is designed to operate for its entire lifetime on its existing power supply. The attack sub is equipped to fire torpedoes at ships or Tomahawk cruise missiles at land targets.
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