The keel for John Warner (SSN 785) will be laid March 16 at 11 a.m. EDT. Although John Warner is already under construction, the keel laying is the symbolic beginning of a ship’s construction. You can watch this ceremony live at www.livestream.com/usnavy. This blog will help you prepare for the ceremony by telling you everything you need to know about one of the Navy’s soon to be newest submarines.
About the Submarine:
John Warner (SSN 785) is the 12th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the sixth to be delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding. While other Virginia-class submarines have been named after U.S. states, SSN 785 holds the distinction of being named after a person—a man who has served his country throughout his entire adult life as a Navy enlisted Sailor, a Marine lieutenant, secretary of the Navy and a U.S. senator.
Construction of the 377-foot submarine began in 2009 and is well underway, with the stern, sail, bow and other internal compartments being constructed as separate modules. The Virginia-class construction program has been lauded by the Navy as a model of efficiency and quality, consistently delivering the ships ahead of schedule. Newport News Shipbuilding is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat, pursuant to laws enacted by Congress, to build the Virginia-class submarines. Components and parts for the submarines come from subcontractors across America.
John Warner has served his country throughout his entire adult life as a Navy enlisted sailor, a Marine lieutenant, secretary of the Navy and a U.S. senator for Virginia.
During his 30 years in the Senate, he served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, including three periods as chairman and two periods as ranking Republican. He was viewed as one of the most influential senators on military and foreign policy issues. At varying times, the Senator also served on the Senate Health, Education, and Pensions Committee; Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Select Committee on Intelligence (where he served as vice chairman for several years); Commerce Committee; Environment and Public Works Committee; and Rules Committee (where he served as chair for several years). Most recently, he was the lead co-sponsor with Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) on energy legislation, and with Senators Webb, Hagel and Lautenberg put through the U.S. Senate the current G.I. Bill for uniformed personnel and their families.
The senator volunteered for two periods of active military duty: the first as an enlisted Sailor in the final years of World War II (1945-46), and the second as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marines during the Korean War (1950-52).
After completing his law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law, he clerked for The Honorable E. Barrett Prettyman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 1955 to 1960, the Senator was an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. He joined Hogan & Hartson as an associate in 1961 and became a partner in 1964.
He left Hogan & Hartson in 1969 when he was appointed, and confirmed by the Senate, as under secretary, and later as secretary, of the U.S. Navy, positions he served in for a total of more than five years during the Vietnam War.
Between 1974 and 1976, the senator served as administrator for the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, where he administered federal programs in all 50 states and with 22 foreign nations that participated in this historic 200-year anniversary of the founding of our Nation.
Subsequently, he waged two years of political campaigning, winning election to his first of five Senate terms in November 1978. On January 3, 2009, he completed his fifth consecutive term and decided to retire, establishing a record of being the second longest-serving U.S. senator in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Jeanne Warner was born in London, England to American parents. She lived in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, South Africa, until she was 16 and then moved to the United States. She graduated from The Ohio State University and moved to Alexandria, Virginia in 1964.
She has been a realtor in northern Virginia for 24 years. She married Senator John Warner in 2003 and they reside in the Belle Haven community in Alexandria. Jeanne is on the board of the Alexandria Symphony and actively supports many local charities. She also is the sponsor of the nuclear-powered submarine John Warner (SSN 785).
Don’t forget to watch the livestream of SSN-785’s keel laying ceremony Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m. EDT at www.livestream.com/usnavy.