The USS North Dakota, a submarine the Navy named after the greatest state in the union.
Sept. 26, 2013 (Bismarck-Mandan) – The USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784) reached another milestone in its construction on Sept. 15 as it was floated off at the General Dynamics Electric Boat facilities in Groton, Conn.
According to USS North Dakota Committee Chairman Bob Wefald, “This is a major step in the history of our boat as it has now been put in the water for the first time.” Wefald reported the boat had been slowly and meticulously moved over several days from the hangar in which she was assembled to dry dock.
Ship Sponsor Katie Fowler was present at the 4 a.m. Sunday morning event when she was given the privilege of ordering, “Open the valves!” to get the launch underway. Her husband Vice Adm. Jeff Fowler (USN-RET), a 1974 Bismarck High School graduate, accompanied her at the float-off.
Sea water was slowly let into the dry dock and Katie noted, “Within an inch of the calculations, NORTH DAKOTA floated off for the first time at noon on Sept. 15.” The ship’s whistle blew a loud, long blast heard up and down the Thames River announcing “North Dakota is waterborne!”
As ship sponsor, Katie will christen the boat with the name NORTH DAKOTA on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784) is the second United States Navy ship to be named after the State of North Dakota.