We Christen Thee Idaho!

U.S. Navy’s Gem-State namesake gets its first skipper, inches toward completion

Published online: Nov 13, 2020 Looking Back I.F. Magazine Staff
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As many I.F. locals can attest (thanks in large part to a long standing wall display at the Museum of Idaho), the Gem State was honored with the naming of the USS Idaho (BB 42), launched in 1917 and later commissioned for action in World War II.

In fact, three so-named vessels preceded it, including a mid-19th century wooden steam sloop, an acquired motor boat (which was returned to her owner a year later) and another battleship.

The new kid on the block (still in the womb of construction, actually) is the nuclear-powered sub named USS Idaho (SSN-799). According to a report from the Naval Submarine Support Center, she now has her first skipper.

From the report:

Cmdr. Nicholas Meyers assumed command during a ceremony at Flasher World War II Memorial in Groton, Conn.—an achievement he calls the highlight of his 18-year naval career.

“It’s an honor and privilege to lead the Idaho crew into preparations to take custody of the ship, take her out to sea and answer the nation’s call,” said Meyers. “This is our first profound milestone. As these milestones progress, our mission is to be ready, both independently and as a team and ready to fight if called upon.”

Idaho’s new namesake submarine will hold a crew of 135, including three native Idahoans. Meyers said the ship is currently manning and training the crew and are on track to begin nuclear propulsion training next.

Navy leadership anticipates christening and eventual commissioning in 2023 and the boat will be sponsored by Mrs. Teresa Stackley, wife of former acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley (2017).

“As the ship is constructed we will be constructing our own warfighting readiness,” said Meyers. “That process has already begun and it will continue as the ship proceeds ultimately through christening, commissioning and upon being delivered to the United States Navy.”

Meyers, a native of Cumberland, Maryland, is a career submariner and his previous tours include the USS Columbia (SSN 771), USS Alaska (SSBN 732), and USS Greenville (SSN 772).

Source material: Kayla Turnbow, Navy Office of Community Outreach 

Click here to read more of the November isssue.


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