The 18th Virginia-class submarine, Delaware is homeported at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut. U.S. Navy photo

Navy Celebrates Delaware Commissioning

Published April 5, 2022

The U.S. Navy celebrated the commissioning of USS Delaware (SSN 791) Saturday, April 2, in Wilmington, Delaware. Newport News Shipbuilding delivered the Virginia-class submarine in 2019.

Due to COVID restrictions in place at the time, there was no traditional ceremony held when Delaware was commissioned administratively on April 4, 2020. On that day, the submarine was underway and became the first U.S. Navy ship commissioned while submerged.

Saturday’s ceremony followed the script of a traditional commissioning in every way and was held in commemoration of the milestone. As the ship’s sponsor, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden performed the traditional honor of calling for the crew to man the ship and “bring her to life,” a ceremonial procession following the commemorative setting of the first watch.