The Navy’s next five fast-attack submarines will be named for the states of Illinois, Washington, Colorado, Indiana and South Dakota, the Pentagon announced Friday.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said he wanted to honor the states’ contributions to national defense:
“Each of these five states serves as home to military bases that support our national defense and provides men and women who volunteer to serve their country,” Mabus said. “I look forward to these submarines joining the fleet and representing these great states around the world.”
None of the states has been the namesake for a Navy warship in almost five decades, DoD said; the most recent was the battleship USS Indiana, which was decommissioned in 1963.
The USS Illinois will be the second ship to bear that name; all the others will be the third of each.
Mabus’ choices are in keeping with the state name convention for the Virginia class, though one of the ships is named for former Virginia Sen. John Warner. Mabus and his predecessor attracted controversy in departing from ship name conventions; in Mabus’ case, he named a littoral combat ship for former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an amphibious transport for Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha.
Navy Names Next Five Attack Submarines