NNS1604. USS Hawaii submarine named
By Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
    PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy
Richard Danzig and Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka unveiled the
image of the third Virginia-class submarine, USS Hawaii (SSN
776) April 8. The ceremony was held at Bowfin Submarine
Memorial Park in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the brink of the
U.S. Navy's submarine centennial.
    "Submariners are one of our greatest assets; so also are
the people who appreciate and support them. Naming this
submarine 'Hawaii' recognizes both groups -- those brave men
who have served here and the men and women who support
them," Danzig said.
    The submarine is being named to recognize the tremendous
support the Navy has enjoyed from the people and state of
Hawaii and in honor of the rich heritage of submarines in
the Pacific. USS Hawaii, which will be 377 feet in length
and displace over 7,800 tons when submerged, will have a
crew of 134 men. USS Hawaii is projected to be commissioned
in January 2007.
    "Hawaii is proud to have a submarine named after its
people, because Polynesians were a seagoing people. It will
be serving to protect our country in the Pacific and the
same waters that our ancestors patrolled," said Akaka. "I
just know that USS Hawaii will serve our country and the
world well," he added.
    Hawaii has been home to the first Pacific Fleet
submarines since the early 1900s. In 1887, the Navy received
exclusive rights to Wai Momi, meaning "water of pearl" when
the Hawaiian monarch, King David Kalakaua, signed a treaty
to allow a coaling station and repair facility at the
harbor, thanks to its key strategic location. It wasn't
until the Appropriations Act of May 13, 1908, that the Navy
was authorized to build a Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.
    "It's a wonderful thing that the state of Hawaii is
receiving a bit of homage and building on their rich legacy
with the naming of USS Hawaii," said Rear Adm. Al Konetzni
Jr., Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet commander.
    "A submarine is a lot like the state of Hawaii. Both are
serene and beautiful, quiet and peaceful, yet they are both
vitally important to U.S. national security. Like the people
of Hawaii, a submarine is very much a part of its
environment, is respectful of it, yet uses it to great
advantage," added Danzig.
    The Virginia-class submarine is the cornerstone of the
force's future. The new Virginia-class boats will provide
all the capability America needs today at an affordable
price. Designed from the keel up with total ownership in
mind, the Virginia-class development, procurement, and
operating costs will be more than 30 percent less than that
of USS Seawolf (SSN 21).
    "Submarines and the USS Hawaii in particular, are the
most cost effective and secure way to maintain coastal and
national defense," said Konetzni. "USS Hawaii will offer
platforms of technological marvel and will provide a superb
deterrence for our nation."