GROTON, Connecticut – The U.S. Navy christened its newest attack submarine, USS Oregon, Saturday morning at the General Dynamics Electric Boat yard in Groton. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) delivered the principal address. The submarine’s sponsor is Dana Richardson, who christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
For centuries, Navy ships have had female sponsors who christen the vessels. It’s said that the sponsor’s spirit and presence guides the ship throughout its life. Richardson is the wife of Adm. John Richardson, a submariner who is the chief of naval operations. She is a native of Corvallis.
“The future USS Oregon will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom,” Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a prepared release. “She stands as proof of what teamwork – from civilian, to contractor, to military – can accomplish.”
Oregon is a Virginia-class sub designated SSN 793. It’s the third Navy ship to honor the state. The first USS Oregon was a brigantine ship purchased in 1841. It was used for exploration until 1845. The second Oregon, Battleship No. 3, was commissioned in 1896. It left San Francisco in 1898 and arrived in Florida 66 days later to report for battle in the Spanish-American War.
Construction on the newest Oregon began in 2014. It is expected to be delivered for duty in the fall of 2020.