Big Sub Arrives in Portsmouth

USS Virginia. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Seacoast Online reports that the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, welcomed the USS Virginia on Wednesday, to much fanfare. The 377-foot Virginia is the first Virginia-class submarine ever built and the first to visit any shipyard in the country for her first overhaul.

“We’re excited we get to set the bar,” said yard commander Capt. Bryant Fuller. “We’ve been planning for this for several years now. It’s kind of like Christmas. We’re tired of waiting. We want to get on with it.”

For Paul O’Connor, president of the largest union at the yard, the Metal Trades Council, the arrival of the Virginia marks a new chapter at the yard. “We’ve been working together to get it right for this day,” said O’Connor, who remembers when the first Los Angeles-class sub came into the yard in the 1980s.

The city of Portsmouth is the host community for the Virginia. City Councilor Bob Lister, chair of the host committee, was joined Wednesday by Mayor Tom Ferrini and councilors Nancy Clayburgh and Ken Smith.

“We’re really honored to have been chosen to welcome the crew not only to Portsmouth but to the whole Seacoast, really,” said Lister. Seeing the Virginia, he said, “is a good reminder of why everyone wanted to save the shipyard.”

USS Virginia Details:

  • Length: 377 feet
  • Displacement: 7,800 tons
  • Speed: Over 25 knots
  • Launched: Aug. 16, 2003
  • Commissioned: Oct. 23, 2004
  • Sixth U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name of the first English colony and the 10th American state
  • First in class to complete a 6-month deployment to the U.S. European and Central Command areas of responsibility.

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The USS Virginia Submarine traveled to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Wednesday for overhaul and Portsmouth will be the host city. For more see


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