Officials in Groton re-enact arrival of first subs 100 years ago - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials in Groton re-enact arrival of first subs 100 years ago

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

A year-long celebration of “Connecticut’s Submarine Century” is coming to an end, but not without some pomp and circumstance.

Lawmakers and officials gathered at the sub base in Groton Friday afternoon to symbolically re-enact the arrival of the first submarine in 1915. 

The event, according to officials, was meant to celebrate the local heritage and global impact those who’ve been involved in the making of U.S. submarines.Sen. Chris Murphy joined Groton Mayor Marian Galbraith, Rep. Joe Courtney and sub base commanding officer Capt. Carl Lahti spoke about the base’s continuing 100-year legacy.

"One hundred years is really amazing when you think of what all has transpired in the submarine force history and how much of it is tied to this base," Galbraith said. 

There are 15,000 military and civilian personnel that work on this base. It's a $4.5 billion economic driver for the regions economy.

Groton's been home to the submarine fleet since 1915. But twice before it closed in 1900 and in 1912.

Political leaders in Norwich back then were able to get Washington DC and the United States Navy to invest in the base. In October 1915, the first subs the G-1, G-2 and the sub tender, the U.S.S. Ozark, came up the Thames River to open the new submarine base. 

On Friday, the U.S.S. California, with Murphy on board, came up the Thames River to symbolically re-enact that first arrival. 

Murphy recalled 10 short years ago, the BRAC Commission wanted to close the base to save money. On Friday, Murphy said the Navy needs this base more than ever. 

"The reality is the Navy is gearing up to build more submarines than ever with Two Virginia Classes being built a year and a New Ohio replacement class about to be built there's going to be more need for space and for docks," Murphy said. 

A full year of celebration, which includes the fleet and navy families, began on Friday. 

"I know how much we are enriched by the families and the children and the people in our schools and add so much to our community,"  Galbraith said.

The communities surrounding the base have a year of plans to celebrate base life.

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