New Hampshire is Commissioned
At Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
Navy Leaguers joined Navy
officials, business leaders and
more than 3,500 invited guests Oct.
25 to welcome the latest Virginia-class attack submarine, USS New
Hampshire, to the fleet at the
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in
U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.,
delivered the keynote address at the
event, and U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., and U.S. Sen.
Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, were on
the main platform during the ceremony. A host of Navy officials and
business leaders also spoke at the
commissioning, including former
shipyard commander Vice Adm.
Kevin McCoy, now commander of
Naval Sea Systems Command; Adm.
Kirkland Donald, director of naval
nuclear propulsion; Cmdr. Michael
Stevens, New Hampshire’s commanding officer; John Casey, president of General Dynamics Electric
Boat; and Mike Petters, president of
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding.
The submarine’s sponsor is
Cheryl McGuinness of Portsmouth,
N.H., the widow of Thomas McGuinness, a former Navy fighter pilot and co-pilot of American Airlines
Flight 11 that was flown into the
North Tower of the World Trade
Center by terrorists on Sept. 11,
2001. The hour-long ceremony culminated with McGuinness instructing the crew to “come aboard and
bring our ship to life.”
Several children from the Garrison
Elementary School in Dover, N.H.,
who helped in the 2004 letter-writing
campaign asking the Navy to name
the submarine after the Granite State
also were on hand, and were recognized for their efforts at the event.
The Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Hampshire was commissioned
at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Oct. 25. More than 3,500 people attended the
ceremony. New Hampshire is the fifth Virginia-class submarine.
New Hampshire crew members line the boat during the commissioning ceremony. The submarine’s sponsor, Cheryl McGuinness, the widow of a co-pilot of one
of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11,
2001, gave the order for the crew to “come aboard and bring our ship to life.”
A week’s worth of activities and
events to help celebrate the commissioning was sponsored by the
USS New Hampshire Community
Commissioning Committee that
was chaired by Bruce A. Clark,
president of the Navy League’s
The crew was treated to many
events, including a lobster bake and
several receptions in the local area.
Crew members also received tickets
to watch the New England Patriots
take on the St. Louis Rams Oct. 26.
In a letter presented during a
Commander’s Reception, Clark promised the community’s continued
hospitality: “To the commanding
officer of the USS New Hampshire …
and all his officers and crew, be it
known that with you sails the proud
history of New Hampshire and the
courage of her citizen soldiers who
stand with you under the banner,