PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – More than two years after its christening, the USS Oregon was finally delivered to the U.S. Navy in February.
Oregon’s future namesake submarine has been a work in progress for years; it was christened in Connecticut in 2019 and was scheduled to be commissioned in fall 2021. The U.S. Navy said shipbuilders spent almost 10 million hours working on the submarine and it underwent rigorous testing before it could be delivered to the U.S. Navy on Feb. 26.
“Oregon is in excellent condition and the captain and crew have expertly taken the ship through her paces,” said Capt. Todd Weeks, the Virginia Class Program manager. He rode the submarine during its sea trials.
The vessel is the U.S.’ 20th Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles in addition to torpedoes.
“It’s hard to describe. I mean, it’s really a sense of pride that I’m involved in this organization that’s getting the ship and the crew ready to defend our country,” Dave Vrooman, who is on the USS Oregon Commissioning Committee, told KOIN 6 News in May 2021.
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in both shallow and deep waters while conducting several different types of warfare missions.
The Navy says their stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower allow Virginia-class submarines to perform five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.
The submarine is the third U.S. Navy ship to honor the state of Oregon. The first USS Oregon was a brigantine ship purchased in 1841 and used for exploration until 1845.
The second USS Oregon was a battleship commissioned on July 15, 1896, that helped win the Spanish-American war. It was decommissioned in 1906 and recommissioned again in 1911. It remained in the reserve until 1942.
The USS Oregon battleship’s smokestacks were kept at Zidell Yards for years until they were moved in 2021. Terry Emmert from Emmert International of Clackamas told KOIN 6 News he planned to move the smokestacks and the ship’s anchor to a permanent display at his Emmert Cali Marketplace and Saigon Mall on SE 82nd and Foster.
The battleship’s mast is on display at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.