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USS South Dakota commissioning

USS South Dakota (SSN 790) Commissioning

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The newest Virginia-class attack submarine, USS South Dakota (SSN 790), will be commissioned at Groton, Connecticut, Feb. 2, 2019. It will be the 17th Virginia-class attack submarine to join the fleet.

As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities. South Dakota is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of Special Operations Forces (SOF), strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.

South Dakota is a part of the Virginia-class’ third, or Block III, contract, in which the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce acquisition costs. South Dakota features a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs) each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS South Dakota (SSN 790). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)
WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS South Dakota (SSN 790). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)

 

South Dakota also has special features to support Special Forces, including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of personnel and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. Also, in Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes have been replaced by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms, which are maneuvered by a video game controller. Through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia class is designed to remain at the cutting edge for its entire operational life through the rapid introduction of new systems and payloads.

SSN-790, which was built at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, will be 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, have a beam of 34 feet and operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the boat, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

Deanie Dempsey, wife of former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, is the ship’s sponsor. She spent several decades of service in support of the Army, before becoming a champion for all of the services in her role as the chairman’s spouse. In that capacity, she has engaged in countless activities in support of military families, coached and mentored military spouses of all services, participated in dozens of private and charitable organizations, traveled the world representing the United States military, hosted visits to the United States by the spouses of foreign military leaders, and coordinated the family support activities of the White House and Department of Defense.

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GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 14, 2017) Ship’s sponsor Deanie Dempsey christens the Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN 790) at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 14, 2017) Ship’s sponsor Deanie Dempsey christens the Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN 790) at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 14, 2017) The Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN 790) was christened at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 14, 2017) The Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN 790) was christened at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 14, 2017) The Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN 790) was christened at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 14, 2017) The Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN 790) was christened at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)
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The submarine South Dakota will be the fourth planned, and third commissioned U.S. Navy vessel to bear the South Dakota name.

The first USS South Dakota (ACR9/CA 9) was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that launched in 1904. Assigned to the Armored Cruiser Squadron, Pacific Fleet, South Dakota cruised off the west coast of the United States through August 1908. It was then sent on a cruise to Samoa and later operated in Central and South American waters. The armored cruiser returned home in 1912 and was placed in reserve at Puget Sound Navy Yard.

An undated photo of USS South Dakota (CA 9). (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
An undated photo of USS South Dakota (CA 9). (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

The South Dakota-class American battleships were authorized March 4, 1917, and laid down in 1920 but were never completed. They would have been the last dreadnoughts in the Naval Act of 1916 to be commissioned had the Washington Naval Treaty not caused their cancellation.

The second USS South Dakota (BB 57) was commissioned March 1942 and assigned to Task Force 16 centered on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV 6). South Dakota conducted blockade operations against Japanese forces approaching Guadalcanal, where they engaged Japanese carrier forces in the Battle of Santa Cruz. BB-57 saw action in the Battle of Savo Island, Battle of Philippine Sea, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and other Japanese strongholds earning 13 battle stars.

USS South Dakota (BB 57) off the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, Aug. 20. 1943. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
USS South Dakota (BB 57) off the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, Aug. 20. 1943. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

For media interested in attending the media day on Jan. 31 and/or commissioning ceremony on Feb. 2, contact the Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs office at 757-836-1650, or email USFF_COMSUBLANT_NFLT_PAO@navy.mil by noon on Jan. 26.

No live trucks or vans will be authorized.

Media who are not able to attend the media day or ceremony may request remote interviews with South Dakota leadership and crew.

Five Things to Know About USS South Dakota (SSN 790)

  1. Namesake: USS South Dakota is named after the 40th state added to the Union.
    The submarine is the third ship to be christened “South Dakota.” The first USS South Dakota (ACR9/CA 9) was launched in 1904. Assigned to the Armored Cruiser Squadron, Pacific Fleet, South Dakota cruised off the west coast of the United States through August 1908. It was then sent on a cruise to Samoa and later operated in Central and South American waters. It returned home in 1912 and was placed in reserve at Puget Sound Navy Yard. The second USS South Dakota (BB 57) was commissioned March 1942 and assigned to Task Force 16 centered on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV 6). South Dakota conducted blockade operations against Japanese forces approaching Guadalcanal, where they engaged Japanese carrier forces in the Battle of Santa Cruz. BB-57 saw action in the Battle of Savo Island, Battle of Philippine Sea, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and other Japanese strongholds earning 13 battle stars.
  2. Sponsor: Deanie Dempsey, wife of former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, is the ship’s sponsor and will be in attendance for the commissioning.
    Deanie spent several decades of service in support of the Army, before becoming a champion for all of the services in her role as the chairman’s spouse. In that capacity, she has engaged in countless activities in support of military families, coached and mentored military spouses of all services, participated in dozens of private and charitable organizations, traveled the world representing the United States military, hosted visits to the United States by the spouses of foreign military leaders, and coordinated the family support activities of the White House and Department of Defense.
  3. Size/Endurance: The submarine is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged while displacing approximately 7,800 tons submerged. It will operate for over 30 years without ever refueling.
  4. Capability:  South Dakota is the seventh Block III submarine of the Virginia-class.
    The Virginia class has been improved to enhance littoral operations. The class has special features to support Special Operations Forces, including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of SOF and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. The class also has a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers. Traditional periscopes have been replaced by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms. The Block III submarines have replaced the 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two 87-inch Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. The VPTs simplify construction, reduce acquisition costs, and provide for more payload flexibility than the smaller VLS tubes due to their added volume.
  5. Missions: South Dakota is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.

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Biographies

Commanding Officer

Commanding Officer

Cmdr. Craig Litty

Cmdr. Craig Litty, a native of House Springs, Missouri, enlisted in the Navy in 1992 and served as a hospital corpsman until his selection to the Seaman to Admiral Program in 1999. He graduated in 2001 from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and was commissioned upon completion of Officer Candidate School the same year.

After completing Nuclear Power Training and the Submarine Officer Basic Course in February 2003, Litty served onboard USS San Francisco (SSN 711) from March 2003 through June 2005, where he completed one Guam mission cycle as the chemistry and radiological controls assistant and damage control assistant. From April 2007 through September 2009, he served as engineer officer on USS Buffalo (SSN 715). During his tour, Buffalo completed four Guam mission cycles and earned the Battle Efficiency “E” award for 2008. Following completion of Submarine Command Course in August 2013, he served as executive officer on USS New Mexico (SSN 779). While serving as executive officer, New Mexico completed one Arctic deployment and one European Command deployment and was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.

Litty served ashore as flag aide to Commander, Naval Forces Marianas, and engineer officer for Submarine Squadron 15. In 2013, he graduated with distinction from the U.S Naval War College. Most recently, he served as the systems employment development department head at the Undersea Warfighting Development Center Tactical Analysis Group.

Personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Army Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards).

Litty is married with two children.

Executive Officer

Executive Officer

Lt. Cmdr. Scotty MurphyLt. Cmdr. Scotty Murphy is from Blanchard, Oklahoma, and is a 2004 graduate of Missouri-Rolla. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics.

After earning his degree from University of Missouri-Rolla, he earned his commission in November 2004 through Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, before beginning the nuclear power training pipeline.

After completing nuclear training and basic officer training, he reported onboard USS Montepier (SSN 765) in Norfolk, Virginia, where he served as EA, CRA, and assistant engineer. During his tour, Montpelier supported two submarine command courses, deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in 2008, and earned two Battle E’s. Following his junior officer tour, he reported to shore duty at PERS-42 in Millington, Tennessee, serving for two years as a submarine junior officer detailer. Following his tour, he earned his Master’s degree in National Strategy and Policy from the Naval War College.

Following completion of Submarine Officer Advanced Course, Murphy reported to USS Chicago (SSN 721) in Guam to serve as weapons officer. During his tour, Chicago completed seven mission cycles and was awarded the Battle E, Weapons White “W” and the Meritorious Unit Citation. Following his tour, he reported to COMSIXTHFLEET/CTF-69 serving as the current operations officer for the European Command area of responsibility.

Murphy serves as the executive officer of USS South Dakota.

His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (six awards) and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Murphy is married with three children.

Chief of the Boat

Chief of the Boat

Senior Chief HMCS(SS/FMF) GoulasSenior Chief HMCS (SS/FMF) Adam Goulas was born and raised in Mauriceville, Texas. After graduating from Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School, he enlisted in the Navy in September 1993 and attended basic training at Recruit Training Command, San Diego, California.

His follow on training includes Hospital Corpsman “A” school, Field Medical Service “C” school (NEC 8404), Surgical Technologist “C” school (NEC 8483), and Submarine Independent Duty Corpsman “C” school (NEC 8402).

He graduated from the Senior Enlisted Academy, Class 192 (Gold).

His prior duty assignments include NAVHOSP Twenty-Nine Palms, California, from March 1994 to August 1995; 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marines, 5th Battalion from August 1995 to August 1998; Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Charleston, South Carolina, from August 1998 to November 2001; Fleet Surgical Team, Portsmouth, Virginia, from December 2001 to December 2004; USS Boise (SSN 764) from March 2006 to August 2009; Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia, from September 2009 to October 2012; USS New Mexico (SSN 779) from November 2012 to December 2015; and a faculty advisor at the Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy Newport, Rhode Island, from December 2015 to November 2018.

His current duty assignment is Chief of the Boat PCU South Dakota (SSN 790).

Senior Chief Goulas is qualified to wear the Submarine Warfare (SS) insignia; he is also qualified Fleet Marine Force (FMF). His personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), the Navy Good Conduct Medal (eight awards) and various unit, service, and campaign ribbons/medals.

Sponsor

Sponsor

Deanie DempseyDeanie Dempsey was born and raised in New York. After graduating with a degree in education from Le Moyne University in Syracuse, New York, she married her high school sweetheart, now-retired U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. As a military spouse, she lived in seven states, Germany for 11 years, and Saudi Arabia for two years. Along the way, and while raising her family, she earned her master’s degree from the University of Colorado. She has three children. Her husband commissioned all three children in the Army, and one remains on active duty.

After several decades of service in support of the Army, Deanie became a champion for all of the services when Gen. Dempsey was named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2011. Over the next four years, she engaged in countless activities in support of military families, coached and mentored military spouses of all services, participated in dozens of private and charitable organizations, traveled the world representing the U.S. military, hosted visits to the United States by the spouses of foreign military leaders, and coordinated family support activities for the White House and Department of Defense.

Deanie Dempsey has been – and remains – a powerful advocate for the members of the armed forces and the selfless family members who support them.

Since her husband retired in October 2015, Deanie has remained active with military support organizations including the Bob Woodruff Foundation and TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors).

She is honored and humbled to serve as sponsor of the submarine South Dakota.

Photos

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Torpedo room

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of a torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of a torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Torpedo room

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of a torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of a torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Torpedo room

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) MachinistÕs Mate (Submarine Weapons) 2nd Class Colton Gomez works in the torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) MachinistÕs Mate (Submarine Weapons) 2nd Class Colton Gomez works in the torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Torpedo room

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of walking space in the torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of walking space in the torpedo room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
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Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of food serving line aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of food serving line aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of food serving line aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of food serving line aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the dining area walls and tables aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the dining area walls and tables aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of South Dakota license plate memorabilia in the crewÕs dining area aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of South Dakota license plate memorabilia in the crewÕs dining area aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the wardroom dining area walls aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the wardroom dining area walls aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the dining area tables aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the dining area tables aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the pictures embedded on the crew mess dining tables aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the pictures embedded on the crew mess dining tables aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

Mess and wardroom

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the wardroom dining space aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the wardroom dining space aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
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Medical

GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the medical room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Jan. 4, 2019) A photo of the medical room aboard Pre-commissioning Unit South Dakota (SSN 790). South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine and is scheduled to be commissioned Feb. 2, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique Meeks/Released)

 

 

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Boat’s Crest

USS South Dakota's crest

The boat’s crest pays homage to its namesake and ships bearing the name South Dakota. In the center, sits Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the state’s most iconic destination. Surrounding Mount Rushmore are three coyotes, the state animal of South Dakota and a symbol used by many Native American tribes. Pheasant feathers and a rattlesnake tail hang from the side representing the state bird of South Dakota, and the silent and deadly stealth of SSN-790. Above Mount Rushmore, the sun shape pays homage to South Dakota’s state flag, with the 13 stars representing the battle stars awarded to BB-57 during World War II. Atop the crest sit two submarine dolphins, one silver and one gold. The silver dolphin represents the enlisted crew with the gold representing officers.

The boat’s motto is written in Latin “Subter Mare Dominamur” – “Under the sea we rule.”

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