Navy christens the latest Virginia-class submarine in Newport News
The Massachusetts is the 25th nuclear-powered submarine to be added to the Navy.
It's part of the Virginia class of submarines, which all share certain specifications, like running on nuclear power, and designed to carry a crew of both men and women.
The boat’s ceremonial sponsor - former Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg - was on hand for the events leading up to the christening Saturday.
Sandberg was chief operating officer for Facebook and then its parent company Meta, until she left the company in 2022.
“There are women who are going to get on that submarine, and that's a very new thing,” Sanberg said. ”I want the women to know how important they are, not just their service, but the example they set to little girls everywhere that can do absolutely anything.”
Submarines were only opened to women beginning in 2010.
At the moment, the Massachusetts has only one female officer assigned to the crew of over 140 sailors.
Huntington Ingalls in Newport News began building the submarine in 2017, but COVID delayed completion. The local shipyard is one of only two in the country that can build nuclear-powered submaries for the Navy.
The Massachusetts is still roughly 18 months away from being turned over to the Navy.