SOUTH DAKOTA, 17TH VIR­GINIA-CLASS SUB­MA­RINE, TO BE CHRIS­TENED IN GRO­TON

The Day - - REGION - — Ju­lia Bergman

Gro­ton — The 17th Vir­gini­a­class sub­ma­rine, South Dakota (SSN-790), will be chris­tened on Satur­day at Elec­tric Boat's head­quar­ters here.

Deanie Dempsey, wife of re­tired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, for­mer chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will play a cen­tral role in Satur­day's chris­ten­ing as South Dakota's spon­sor, break­ing a bot­tle of sparkling wine across the boat's hull. When a ship's spon­sor breaks the bot­tle, she is said to be im­part­ing her spirit on the boat.

Vir­ginia-class fast at­tack sub­marines take about five years to build. South Dakota is ex­pected to join the fleet in the sum­mer/ fall of 2018.

Sev­eral thou­sand peo­ple — mostly yard work­ers, sailors and their fam­i­lies — are ex­pected to at­tend Satur­day's chris­ten­ing, which is by in­vi­ta­tion only.

There will be a live we­b­cast start­ing at 9:30 a.m. at www. gdeb.com. The cer­e­mony will be­gin at 10 a.m. and is ex­pected to last un­til 11:15 a.m. The pro­gram will be avail­able for on-de­mand re­play for one week, be­gin­ning at ap­prox­i­mately 2:30 p.m. EST on Satur­day.

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