BOISE, Idaho — The USS Idaho Commissioning Committee, US Navy Sailors and former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne spent Tuesday morning at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery honoring the fallen men and women who served our nation.
“It definitely makes me feel humbled,” said Executive Officer Lt. Commander Darrell Smith.
He was among the sailors.
“It's incredible that we get to honor those who passed away with such a, you know, amazing spot that kind of brings home the fact that they put down a lot to protect the nation,” Smith said.
He is also among the first group of sailors assigned to the USS Idaho, which is a Virginia-class nuclear powered attack submarine currently under construction.
“So as of today, the PC Idaho is one piece and electric boat and Groton once it becomes a commission warship, it will go from being a PCU, a pre-commissioning unit to the USS Idaho,” Smith said. “It will be another asset for the nation's defense.”
It will also be the first navy vessel to be named after Idaho in more than 100 years, according to a news release from the USS IDAHO Commissioning Committee Public Affairs.
“It's a real honor to be affiliated with these magnificent men and women that will be serving on the USS Idaho to carry the namesake of our state,” Kempthorne said. “They will join the sister ship USS Boise, which also is they're part of the United States Navy. So, for a state like Idaho to have two ships, it's quite significant.”
The christening of the ship is scheduled for next year.
“Then it moves on to commissioning what becomes a full naval warship, one of the finest in the fleet,” Kempthorne said. “So much of it was designed in Idaho, the first nuclear submarine, the propulsion system designed and built in Idaho. the stealth technology that goes into these ships is done there in northern Idaho, they're very proud of that.”
After they left the cemetery, the navy sailors made their way to Caldwell High School, where there was a memorial assembly for Carrie French. The first Idaho woman killed in combat in 2005.
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