First lady to christen Groton submarine - WFSB 3 Connecticut

First lady to christen Groton submarine

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First Lady Michelle Obama will christen the U.S.S. Illinois during a morning ceremony. (WFSB) First Lady Michelle Obama will christen the U.S.S. Illinois during a morning ceremony. (WFSB)
NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -

A new submarine is expected to be commissioned in Groton Saturday.

First Lady Michelle Obama will christen the U.S.S. Illinois during a morning ceremony.

Obama sponsored the submarine and will give the official order for the 132 crew members to man the ship.

Petty officer Scott Wiscons said watching the ship being made has been a learning experience.

"Seeing it separately and seeing it come together I think I have a better appreciation for all that it takes to put in to building this ship," said Wiscons.

Building a submarine like the U.S.S. Illinois take millions of hours.

Crews are trained to attack targets ashore with accurate cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance.

Channel 3's Kevin Hogan got a tour of the vessel.

Captain Jess Porter showed Hogan the command center, which is the heart of the ship.

"The sonar techs sit here with their headphones on and listen to the ocean and try to distinguish between mammals or fish and...whales, dolphins and all sorts of things," said Porter.

The ship has tight quarters, especially in the sleeping area.

Cooks whip up four meals a day in the galley and keep coffee brewing all day and night.

Porter said he's proud of all that went into building the ship.

"Without their craftsmanship and diligence in building this ship we couldn't do what we do. I mean they have built a wonderful, marvelous and powerful warship," said Porter.
With the American flag raised on the deck, it's clear workers are proud to serve their country on their beautiful new submarine.

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