Local News

Catch a Ride on the Navy's New Fast-Attack Sub

Posted March 17, 2008

— WRAL's Richard Adkins caught a ride on one of the U.S. Navy's newest fast-attack nuclear submarines, the future USS North Carolina.

For the first time in nearly 60 years, a Navy warship bearing the state's name will be on the sea lanes after the vessel is commissioned in Wilmington May 3. Her crew will then sail her to Pearl Harbor.

"I absolutely love this ship," said Capt. Mark Davis, who will be the commanding officer of the USS North Carolina.

When she breaks the surface, the fourth Virginia-class submarine to be built is an impressive sight, stretching out 377 feet and displacing more than 7,800 tons.

"With over 2,000 of North Carolina's sons and daughters having joined the Navy and Marine Corps this year and more than 45,000 sailors and marines currently serving in the state, I find it more than fitting to honor this great state and its sons and daughters by naming our newest fast-attack submarine, the 'North Carolina,'" Secretary of the Navy Ricard Danzing said, in a statement on the Submarine Force's Web site.

The North Carolina boasts enhanced stealth and surveillance capabilities and the ability to strike on-shore targets with Tomahawk cruise missiles. She was built to support covert, as well as traditional, naval operations.

Fully staffed, the ship will have a crew of nearly 140 men – and no women, according to Navy policy.

"Submarine life in general is a little more contained that the average job," Electronics Technician 1st Class Carl Lattimore said. "It's close quarters; there's little room to move around and operate."

Garner native and Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Tyler Murray will join Lattimore as one of a half-dozen Tar Heels serving on the North Carolina.

"I like it; it's kind of fun," Murry said. "Some of the work is kind of tedious, and it gets a little overbearing every now and then, (but) I like it."

Davis said submariners have to like the lifestyle. As for him, he loves it.

"I've been doing it for 26 years, and I haven't regretted one single day," Davis said. "It's amazing that they pay us to do this."


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  • dogman1973 Mar 18, 2008

    lma1973, you misread the number....it is 2,000 not 200,000 who have heard the call this year!

  • lizard Mar 17, 2008

    Better not have any garbage disposals on it. Meeker will repossess it.

  • 867-5309 Mar 17, 2008

    This is awesome. We already have the USS CHARLOTTE here in Pearl Harbor and San Diego has the USS ASHEVILLE

  • Slip Kid Mar 17, 2008

    For the math challenged, the displacemnet eqauals 15.6 million pounds. That's equal to the weight of the water it displaces when submerged.

    I look forward to hearing more about 'our' new ship in the future! Thanks to all those who serve, everywhere!

  • They call me CATMAN Mar 17, 2008

    Being Retired Navy. This is a great story to read. GO NAVY.

  • Glenn Miller Mar 17, 2008

    This is AWESOME!!!

  • b-ball fan Mar 17, 2008

    7,800 tons of displacement, not weight. The info is correect according to the U.S. Navy for Virginia class subs.

  • Pharmboy Mar 17, 2008

    Someone needs to proofread this before placing it online. Now that they have got the facts straight, I'm glad the USS NC is back in action, by name. The battleship served honorably through WWII and I'm glad the state is represented since we are home to so many military personale and families. Prior to this, our most popular name was the KittyHawk aircraft carrier.

  • lma1973 Mar 17, 2008

    200,000 of North carolina's sons and daughters have joined the Navy this year? That number seems a little high.

  • icy148 Mar 17, 2008

    How do you think they made it so fast?! ;)

    I'd love to go for a ride too, can I buy a ticket?