Montanans to Experience Christening of Future USS MONTANA Online September 12, 2020 (posted 8/11/20)

Christening of the future USS MONTANA will take place on September 12 at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia – and Montanans will be able to watch the streamed event live online.

The traditional breaking of a bottle of sparkling wine over the submarine’s bow by ship sponsor Sally Jewell will be a highlight of the christening. The ceremony will have other Navy and Montana-themed features that will be important and powerful – despite being an online streamed event rather than a traditional large-crowd one.

Because of COVID pandemic restrictions ordered by the Governor of Virginia, the christening ceremony will be virtual, online, and have a limited number of speakers. There will be no in-person participation by the USS Montana Committee members, or the general public.

We do expect that there will be recorded Native American and other Montana elements.

Included in the ceremony is expected to be the first ringing of the ship’s bell that will be formally presented by the USS Montana Committee to the boat and crew at its commissioning into the Navy fleet, probably in late 2021.

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The bell is a smaller replica of the one that sailed aboard the first USS MONTANA, Armored Cruiser Number 13 commissioned in 1908, but with the emblem of the new MONTANA.

Following christening of the submarine, at some point she will be floated into the James River for completion and testing. Then, following sea trials next year she will be accepted by the Navy. Her commissioning into the fleet will then take place.

For next month’s christening, the USS Montana Committee will be providing and publicizing the time of the September 12 ceremony as well as the link to the streamed event.

Media representatives should note that we expect that Newport News Shipbuilding will provide opportunities for interviews of key christening participants. If you have questions with which the Committee may assist or route to appropriate shipbuilder or other representatives, please let us know through the website’s Contact page.