The USS Delaware Virginia-class Navy submarine moved one step closer to duty at sea Saturday as it was christened in Newport News Virginia, where it was built over the course of five years.
"I christen thee United States Ship Delaware," former Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden said. "May God bless this submarine and all who sail in her."
Then, Dr. Biden, the sponsor of the submarine, smashed a bottle of bubbly against its side as the audience of an estimated 1,500 people cheered inside a giant hanger at the massive shipbuilding complex.
Earlier during the ceremony, Governor John Carney (D-Delaware), called it an "incredibly proud day for the state of Delaware."
U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware) expressed thanks and appreciation to the crew of about 135 sailors, to the estimated 4,000 shipbuilders who took part in the sub's assembly, and to all service men and women as well as their families.
"With the christening of the USS Delaware, we honor all those men and women. We honor them all as a new generation of American sailors prepares to take this submarine through its sea trials, and eventually to seas throughout the world over the next half century, further protecting our democracy and helping to preserve this planet that we call home," Carper said during the keynote address.
When the USS Delaware takes to the sea under the command of Brian Hogan, it will have this motto: First Defenders of Liberty.