The future nuclear submarine, the USS Montana has officially been launched and awaits commissioning before starting her duties.

Bill Whitsitt of the USS Montana Committee provided details of the state’s namesake nuclear submarine to KGVO News.

“She is in the water and this is a wonderful milestone toward completion of the ship and then the commissioning in about a year into the Navy fleet,” said Whitsitt. “It's been a long time getting to this point, but as I say she is afloat, and that's a very important milestone.”

Whitsitt provided more details about the USS Montana and her mission.

“This is a leading edge Virginia class nuclear powered fast attack submarine that has really a lot of mission capabilities that we certainly need in the world today in dangerous places, whether Asia, the Indo Pacific or other places,” he said. “She has been under construction since 2015."

Whitsitt said the USS Montana is being outfitted with her full weapons package and the crew has already been hard at work in their new boat.

“She will be completed with all of her weapons systems and all of the finishing to be done,” he said. “She's about 92% complete as of this conversation, and the crew has been under intense training on all the systems aboard the vessel. For the better part of a year they've actually, even though they were onshore in a big facility, they've been pulling 24/7 watches on the nuclear reactor because that has been fueled and undergoing testing for quite some time.”

It may already be known that the majority of the crew aboard the USS Montana are loyal Montana Grizzly fans, as the boat itself shows.

“The Navy designers who did the emblem which is seen also on our website, if you scroll down through the news blogs, there's a whole piece about the emblem. But the emblem actually has a snarling Grizzly in the bow wave as the boat prepares to dive.”

Whitsitt said the captain and crew will find some way to include the Bobcats, but it is well known how uncomfortable cats are in the water. There may be an effort to include a full-sized Bobcat in one of the mess areas.

Through the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat approximately 10,000 shipbuilders, as well as suppliers from all 50 states, have participated in USS Montana’s construction since the work began in 2015.

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