Published November 19. 2012 3:15PM Updated November 19. 2012 3:18PM
The next Virginia-class submarine will be named the USS Delaware and Jill Biden will be the sponsor, the Navy announced today.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus chose the name in honor of the first state in the union and its more than two centuries of naval heritage.
"I chose the name Delaware to honor the long-standing relationship between the Navy and our nation's first state," Mabus said in a statement. "It has been too long since there has been a USS Delaware in the fleet and this submarine will remind future deployed service members and state residents of their strong ties and many shared values for decades to come."
Biden started Joining Forces with First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage all Americans to recognize, honor and support military families. She said she is honored to be the sub's sponsor.
"Our men and women in uniform and their families represent the very best of America, and wherever the Delaware goes, it will take with it the strength, resilience, and bravery of military families in Delaware and across the country," she said.
The submarine will be the seventh ship of the U.S. Navy to be named the USS Delaware and the 18th member of the Virginia class. It will be built under the teaming arrangement between Electric Boat in Groton and Huntington Ingalls Industries in Virginia, with delivery scheduled for 2019 by Huntington Ingalls Industries.