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Thomas C.
Democrat DE

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  • Commemorating the Building of the Ssn 791 Submarine ``Uss Delaware’‘

    by Senator Thomas R. Carper

    Posted on 2016-04-28

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    Read More about Commemorating the Building of the Ssn 791 Submarine ``Uss Delaware''

    CARPER. Mr. President, just a short note. I think it is important, especially for those who are privileged to live in the First State--the first State to ratify the Constitution.



    Delaware ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787, before any other State did so. For 1 week, Delaware was the entire United States of America, and then we opened it up to Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana, and others. It turned out pretty well. It was a great week.

    I think that because our State is remarkable in starting the whole country, we have a lot of ships--submarines or aircraft carriers--named after it. It has been decades since there has been any naval vessel named after the First State.

    A couple of years ago, Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of the Vice President, and I joined Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to announce that work would begin in a few years from that point--work would begin building a fast attack nuclear submarine. It would be called the USS Delaware, and the number of the ship would be SSN 791.

    This Saturday in Newport News, VA, Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of the Vice President, who is officially the sponsor of the submarine, will be there to join Secretary Ray Mabus. I will have the good fortune of joining them for the keeling, which is the first step in the construction of a brandnew vessel, the USS Delaware, SSN 791.

    These submarines are not built in a day. This is a project that will take a couple of years, but a very good thing for our State and I hope for our country is about to begin; that is, the adventure of building a submarine that will help defend our country, help keep the sea lanes open, and better ensure that we remain a nation that is brave and free.

    I mentioned earlier in my brief remarks that I spent some years of my life in the Navy--5 years in a hot war in Southeast Asia as a P-3 aircraft mission commander, and toward the end of those 5 years as a P- 3 aircraft mission commander I was a naval flight officer. Then, for another 18 years, I was a P-3 aircraft mission commander in the Reserves, chasing Soviet subs all over the world.

    We would train with American submarines, and we would track fast attack boats. It is a fast attack boat that will be built and named after Delaware. We would track ballistic missile submarines, American submarines. We would also track those from other [[Page S2545]] countries, especially those from the Soviet Union. It wasn't that hard to find them, to track them, to know the location of Soviet nuclear submarines that were on deployment. They weren't easy to find, to locate and track, but they were a whole lot easier than tracking our own. ``Run Silent, Run Deep,'' and that is exactly what our submarines did and still do. We have the best submarine force in the world. I am very proud of all of them, and they are delighted to be joined by SSN 791 in a couple of years, and we get to kick it off in 2 days in Newport News, VA.

    I wish everybody a good recess. The pages are going to be in charge until we get back in about 8 or 9 days, and I am sure they will do a good job. Thank you so much.

    I suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The clerk will call the roll.

    The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

    Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    ____________________

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