USS New Mexico SSN-779 at a chilly pier 14 of the Norfolk Naval Station. She is the second ship named after the Land of Enchantment. Photo by Jim Dolbow

Posted by Jim Dolbow in Navy

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  • Paul

    I wish the newest addition to the fleet smooth sailings and successful patrols. Long may she serve.

    However, when will there be another USS Kansas, USS Oregon, USS Vermont, or USS Utah? Some states have had multiple ships named after them, class after class, year after year. There’s actually been two name class of ships for Virginia– Virginia class nuclear cruisers and Virginia class submarines. Shouldn’t SEC NAV go through all of the states first before naming another ship after a state who just had one? Shouldn’t states take precedence over politicians? Being from Vermont, we’ve shed more blood per capita than every other state in the GWOT. Shouldn’t that matter?

    The last USS Vermont was pre-dreadnought, the last USS Utah is at the bottom of Pearl, the last USS Oregon fought in the Spanish American War and the last USS Kansas was a sistership of the USS Vermont. How about naming the next four Virginia class subs after these states?

  • Jim Dolbow


    No arguments here Paul. However, I am just a blogger and not SECNAV who has the final authority on names of ships. There are some states and territories that have never had a ship named after them. I propose we build more subs to remedy these oversights. Thanks for commenting

  • Ken Prescott

    I’m still waiting for the next USS Montana. The last ship named for the Treasure State was an armored cruiser, and she wound up getting renamed Missoula.

  • Why do some subs have sails topside and others don’t and what is the main function. Providence SSN719 has sails.
    Sam (non submariner)

  • Ken Prescott

    All US submarines have “sails” (the vertical structure atop the hull). Some (specifically, all fast-attacks prior to SSN 751) have “fairwater planes” (the horizontal structures you’re referring to–they are part of the diving planes). My understanding is that these were removed in part to give better under-ice performance.

  • Paul


    Sorry, I forgot about Montana; they are also well-deserving of a ship!

    — wrote some letters to the previous administration and got the runaround “SECNAV names ships, has to prioritize, other considerations, all are equal, many pressures…” yada, yada, yada. The end result? Well, none of the “forgotten five” are named as of yet but rest assured if you’re a major politician and support the navy, you’ll get your ship!