USS New Jersey Commissioning Committee to celebrate commissioning of submarine

New Jerseyans have the opportunity to attend a time-honored Naval tradition when the U.S. Navy and the USS New Jersey Commissioning Committee celebrate the commissioning of the USS New Jersey (SSN-796), the third naval vessel named for the state of New Jersey, on April 6, 2024, at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Leonardo.

The commissioning ceremony is a sacred event in the life of every U.S. Navy ship and will mark the official entry of the USS New Jersey to the Navy’s fleet. Dignitaries, honored guests, the ship’s sponsor and the general public are invited to a grand ceremony steeped in tradition in which the vessel becomes a Navy ship and its commanding officer and crew formally come aboard to man the vessel and bring the ship to life.

There is no cost to attend; however, tickets are required. Due to limited seating and security, tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis — requests for tickets must be made online prior to Jan. 15, 2024, by clicking here.

A Virginia-class submarine, the USS New Jersey will be the third naval vessel named after the state of New Jersey and the first ever built fully designed to support an integrated male and female crew. The Virginia class, also known as the SSN-774 class, is a class of nuclear-powered, cruise missile fast-attack submarines used by the U.S. military.

The then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the name of the vessel on May 24, 2015, at a ceremony in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, and construction began in March 2016 at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division in Newport News, Virginia. The keel laying ceremony, which was authenticated by the ship’s sponsor, Dr. Susan DiMarco — a retired dentist, community volunteer and wife of former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson — was celebrated on March 25, 2019. The christening of the vessel occurred on Nov. 13, 2021.