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Navy Commissions Attack Boat USS John Warner

Sailors man the rails as they bring the ship to life during the commissioning ceremony for the Virginia-class attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) on Aug 1, 2015. US Navy Photo

Sailors man the rails as they bring the ship to life during the commissioning ceremony for the Virginia-class attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) on Aug 1, 2015. US Navy Photo

The Navy commissioned its latest Virginia-class nuclear attack boat in a Saturday ceremony honoring its namesake, former U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Navy John Warner.

The commissioning of USS John Warner (SSN-785) at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. — attended by Warner, director of Naval Reactors and prospective Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson and current CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert — marks the induction of the 12th boat-in-class.

Sailors stand during the commissioning ceremony of the USS John Warner (SSN-785) on Aug. 1, 2015.

Sailors stand during the commissioning ceremony of the USS John Warner (SSN-785) on Aug. 1, 2015.

“This boat is the latest incarnation of American sea power, and is a strategic asset for this country,” Greenert said in keynote remarks at the ceremony.
“This affords us what we refer to as global access, and it is fundamental to any mission that you ask your military to do. Frankly, we are challenged in space, we are challenged in cyber, we are challenged in the air and we are challenged on the surface. We are not currently challenged in the undersea. We own the undersea domain. We must keep that situation as we go into the future.”

Warner, 88, who served as an enlisted sailor in World War II and as a Marine officer in the Korean War, stressed how important it was for the U.S. Navy to keep the oceans safe.

“Let them know of your presence and your determination to defend freedom,” said Warner during remarks.
“Defend the sea lanes of the world which are the very arteries of international commerce. Manned by our submarines, our surface ships, and naval aircraft, we are carefully working to keep those sea lanes open – not just for us but for all.”


The $2.5 billion, 7,800-ton Warner delivered to the service in late June, three months ahead of schedule. It’s the second Block III Virginia in the class.

The first Block III boat, USS North Dakota (SSN-784), commissioned late last year amidst a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) investigation into third party suppliers to prime contractors Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The investigation into the suppliers was a rare misstep in the Virginia program (SSN-774) — widely considered to be the best shipbuilding program in the Navy.

Most of the Block III modifications are in the boat’s bow to accommodate a new water-backed Large Aperture Bow (LAB) sonar array and the addition of two Multiple All Up Round Canisters that can each hold six Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM).

The Navy plans to build eight Block III attack boats and then move to the Block IV with the planned Vermont (SSN-792).

  • No reflection on Sec. Warner but political BS in SECNAV’s office with US Navy ships. Why not name after a state like most of the VA Class. Political payback or just BS. Gifford, Muther, Stenis, the list goes on. Cooperstown, why not the Ted Williams, great player who would have been the best except his six year time out as a Marine Fighter pilot in WW2 and Korea. Maybe honor Sherly Temple, USS Lolly Pop. Still think US Attack Submarines should be named after fish. Fifty four boats lost in WW2. We do not honor our traditions. “Hey shipmates I serve on USS Gifford”. “Wow the Gifford, which crew?” “Let’s see the blue, no the red, no the gold, yea the gold.” Makes you want to puke to leeward. MMCS(SW)SS)USN Ret

    • James Bowen

      I agree with most of what you say here. Submarines should still be named after aquatic creatures, cruisers after cities, and aircraft carriers after battles.

      On top of that, while I admire and respect John Warner’s naval service, I disagree with some of the things he did as a Senator. He supported amnesty for illegal aliens and immigration expansion. Mass immigration and failure to enforce our immigration laws are the biggest security threats the U.S. faces at present.

    • old guy

      YEAH, but this guy married Elizabeth Taylor. Even if he was a turkey as a Senator and Secnav, you must recognize great, significant achievement.

  • olesalt

    BZ & Congratulations for the Commissioning of USS John Warner. The USN is still the best Navy globally – however, it must continue to be the best in all respects in order to fend off adversaries.

  • Frank Manola

    Why did those Navy Commissions attack that boat? (Crash blossoms, anyone?)

  • Jim Valle

    As our tax revenues dwindle relative to the cost of government and our debt grows as we desperately borrow to cover the gap, the politicians who steer the Navy’s appropriations bills through Congress become ever more important and vital to the Service’s interests and future. The true history of our Navy is a constant struggle for funding going back to the earliest days of the Republic. Naming important ships after political friends of the Navy is just the latest manifestation of the fight to pry funding out of a system that yearns for low taxes and small government. The Navy, being emphatically a creature of big government, very expensive and totally dependent on tax monies is on the wrong side of the equation. It needs its political friends to balance things out. Rewarding them with ship’s names is a small thing to do.

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  • Refguy

    More lethal than a boomer?

  • old guy

    Naming method.
    BOOMERS are battleships, so they get STATE names.
    Attack subs get FISH names.

    SALMON the left GROUPER looking for a FLUKE to get us to dance to their TUNA, just for the HALIBUT, but if the TROUT be told, they just give all off us a WHALE of a HADDOCK, cause we know BETTA.

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