The United States Navy has commissioned its newest nuclear submarine, the USS South Dakota.
The USS South Dakota includes more than 130 servicemen and women. A number of South Dakota elected officials were on hand and spoke Saturday at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT.
“This is our boat because of the values that power it- American values. The people gathered here today love freedom and hard work and peace. Accordingly this boat does not exist to conquer lands or oppress people- it exists to extend liberty,” Rep. Dusty Johnson said.
U.S. Senator Mike Rounds was also on hand for Saturday’s commissioning.
“It is the not the speech giver who protects our freedom of speech, and it is not the reporter that protects our freedom of the press, and it is not the preacher who protects our freedom of religion, and it most certainly is not the politician who protects our right to vote. It is as all of you know, the men and the women, generation after generation, who wear the uniform of the United States of America,” Rounds said.
South Dakota governor Kristi Noem was also at the ceremony.
“As a Congresswoman in 2012, I had the opportunity to petition the U.S. Navy, along with Senator John Thune and then-Senator Tim Johnson, and ask if they would name the next attack submarine after our great state of South Dakota. Today’s a really special day for me,” Noem said.