Home Americas US Navy commissions 2nd Block IV Virginia sub USS Oregon

US Navy commissions 2nd Block IV Virginia sub USS Oregon

USS Oregon enters service
USS Oregon (SSN 793) crew man the ship during a commissioning ceremony in Groton, Conn. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy commissioned USS Oregon (SSN 793), its newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, in a ceremony on May 28, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

USS Oregon (SSN 793) is the third US Navy ship launched to bear the name Oregon, but is the first in more than a century. The first was a brig in service from 1841 to 1845. The second was an Indiana-class battleship commissioned in 1896, serving in the Spanish-American War, and ultimately decommissioned for the final time in 1919.

The boat is also the second Block IV submarine and the milestone 20th vessel in its class to enter service. As a Block IV boat, USS Oregon will require three major maintenance periods instead of its predecessors’ four, putting in an extra deployment during its service life. Blocks I-III boats conduct 14 deployments, while the Block IV design changes are set to increase deployments to 15.

The Memorial Day Weekend event for USS Oregon also represented the first in-person submarine commissioning ceremony since the commissioning of the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) on Feb. 2, 2019.

The submarine’s sponsor was Dana L. Richardson, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and a native of Corvallis, Oregon. Oregon was christened at General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat shipyard in Groton on Oct. 5, 2019.

“There is no doubt the importance this boat, named after the great state of Oregon, will play in the future of our nation’s security,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “This crew is vital to our undersea mission, and I look forward to all of their successes.”

Block IV Virginia-class submarine USS Oregon
GDEB photo of USS Oregon during sea trials

Delivered by General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB), Oregon is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. It has a crew of approximately 136 navy personnel.