Sub to bear Idaho's name

Decision honors history state has at Farragut with Navy

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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus signs a graphic representation of the future attack submarine USS Idaho during a ship-naming ceremony at the West Idaho State Fair in Boise.

A new stealthy attack submarine made to help the Navy defend the country will bear Idaho's name.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony on Saturday at the Western Idaho Fair in Boise to announce that SSN 799, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Idaho.

"The submarine will be named to honor the history its namesake state has with the Navy," a press release issued by the Navy states.

Bayview is home to the former Farragut Naval Training Station, which was the Navy's second-largest training facility during World War II.

From the early 1950s to the mid-1990s, the Naval Reactors Facility located within the Idaho National Laboratory trained nearly 40,000 Navy personnel in surface and submarine nuclear power plant operations with three nuclear propulsion prototypes, including the first nuclear-powered submarine prototype, S1W.

The facility continues to support the Navy by examining the Navy's spent nuclear fuel and irradiated test specimens, which are used to develop new technology and to improve the cost-effectiveness of existing designs.

Lake Pend Oreille, the fifth-deepest lake in the United States, continues to be the site of tests of large-scale submarine and surface ship prototypes in a setting with acoustic properties similar to that of the ocean.

Virginia-class attack submarines have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.

"These submarines have the capability 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," the press release states.

Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, mine delivery and minefield mapping. They are also designed for special forces delivery and support.

Such submarines are 7,800 tons, 377 feet long and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. They are designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

The submarine will be built by General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. Idaho will be delivered by GDEB in Groton, Conn.

The future USS Idaho will be the fifth Naval vessel to bear the name.

The first, commissioned in 1864, was a steam sloop that served as a store and hospital ship. The second, commissioned in 1905, was a battleship that largely supported American Foreign Policy in Central America and conducted operations and exercises in Guantanamo Bay. The third Idaho was a motorboat commissioned in 1917 that patrolled New Jersey and Pennsylvania harbors. The last Idaho was a New Mexico-class battleship launched on June 30, 1917, which saw action in World War II.

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