DECEMBER 10, 2021 – First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro visited members of the families of the crew of USS Delaware (SSN 791) Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, during a holiday party held in Groton, Connecticut.
Biden shared that her father served in the U.S. Navy and said she understood how hard it is for spouses and children when their Sailors are away from home.
“I know that you all here have one another and you all have a strong community,” she told the assembled families. “I really honor your service.”
Biden is the ship sponsor for USS Delaware – the role most visible during a ship’s christening, when the sponsor ceremonially breaks a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow. The Delaware christening took place in 2018.
The Virginia-class fast attack submarine was administratively commissioned in April of 2020, but a traditional commissioning ceremony was not held at the time due to COVID restrictions.
Thursday evening’s event was hosted by the nonprofit organization United Through Reading and held at the U.S. Submarine Veterans Inc. (USSVI) clubhouse in Groton, Connecticut.
After delivering brief remarks, Biden and Del Toro visited with USS Delaware families at each of nine circular tables around the clubhouse ball room. USS Delaware is homeported in Groton and operates under Submarine Squadron 12.
Also in attendance were Rear Adm. Richard Seif, commanding officer of the Undersea Warfighting Development Center; Capt. Matthew Boland, commanding officer of Submarine Squadron 12; Capt. Kenneth Curtin, commanding officer of Naval Submarine Base New London; Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont; U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney; and Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick.
Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.
They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.
Story by Lt. Seth Koenig
Submarine Readiness Squadron (SRS) 32