USS North Carolina (SSN 777)

Submarine Squadron 1

Pearl Harbor, HI
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North Carolina is the fourth ship of the Navy to carry the name North Carolina. The original was USS North Carolina (1820-1836), the second (ACR 12) (1908 - 1921), and the third (BB 55) (1940 - 1947). North Carolina received 12 battle stars for World War II service.

North Carolina (SSN 777) was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division in Groton, Conn., and Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., and joined the fleet in December 2006.

As the Navy's next-generation attack submarine, the Virginia class provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities it requires to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. North Carolina has improved stealthiness, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and Special Warfare enhancements which enable it to meet the Navy's multimission requirements.

Virginia class submarines are able to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; special forces delivery and support; and mine delivery and minefield mapping. With enhanced communications connectivity, the submarine also will provide important battle group and joint task force support, with full integration into carrier battle group operations.

North Carolina's keel was laid May 22, 2004. The first major milestone for the submarine North Carolina was the keel authentication ceremony held at the shipyard on May 22, 2004. The submarine's sponsor, Mrs. Linda Bowman, wife of Admiral Frank "Skip" Bowman USN (Ret), the former Director, Naval Reactors, inscribed her initials on a section of the pressure hull that were, subsequently, duplicated in weld by a shipyard worker, who, uniquely, resides in North Carolina. The pressure hull welding completed in September 2006, with work on the interior of the submarine continuing.

In October 2006, the ship's Commanding Officer, Cdr. Mark E. Davis reported aboard.

On May 5, 2007, the submarine was lowered into the water for the first time and moved to complete her construction.

On December 12, 2007, North Carolina got underway for her first builder's sea trials. The successful trials led to her second builders trials just before Christmas. Following the third and final round of builder's sea trials in February, Northrop Grumman delivered the submarine to the Navy on February 21, 2008.

The ship was brought to life during her commissioning ceremony at the Port of Wilmington in North Carolina on May 3, 2008. More than 6,500 guests, including submarine veterans and battleship North Carolina alumni attended the ceremony welcoming the submarine as the 4th vessel named after the "Tarheel State."