Thursday, February 17, 2005
The Navy will commission its newest nuclear-powered attack submarine Jimmy Carter Feb. 19, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Conn. The attack submarine Jimmy Carter honors the 39th president of the United States. President Carter is the only U.S. president to have qualified in submarines. He has distinguished himself by a lifetime of public service, and has long ties to the Navy and the submarine force. Carter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, served as a commissioned officer aboard submarines, and served as commander-in-chief from 1977 to 1981. Carter's statesmanship, philanthropy and sense of humanity earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Retired Adm. Stansfield Turner, a classmate of the president who served in the Carter administration as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Rosalynn Carter is the sponsor for the ship named for her husband, with daughter Amy serving as matron of honor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Rosalynn Carter will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!" Jimmy Carter is the third and final submarine of the Seawolf class. As the most advanced submarine in the class, Jimmy Carter will have built-in flexibility and an array of new warfighting features that will enable it to prevail in any scenario, against any threat – from beneath Arctic ice to shallow water. Differentiating Jimmy Carter from all other undersea vessels is its multimission platform (MMP), which includes a 100-foot hull extension to enhance payload capability. The MMP will enable Jimmy Carter to accommodate the advanced technology required to develop and test a new generation of weapons, sensors and undersea vehicles for naval special warfare, tactical surveillance and mine-warfare operations. Capt. Robert D. Kelso, a native of Fayetteville, Tenn., will serve as Jimmy Carter’s first commanding officer, leading a crew of approximately 130 officers and sailors. Built by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., the 12,130-ton Jimmy Carter is 453 feet in length, has a beam of 40 feet, and can operate at speeds exceeding 25 knots when submerged.