November 2023 Newsletter
Letter from the Commissioning Committee
With five months remaining until the commissioning of the attack submarine USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796), we both cheer eagerly anticipated details of the event, and pause in reflection of Naval history.
Recently, the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, announced the official date and location for the Commissioning as April 6, 2024, at Naval Weapons Station Earle, located in Monmouth County, New Jersey (the long pier in Sandy Hook Bay). After months of working with the US Navy through their site-selection process, we are delighted to have final confirmation that The State of New Jersey will have the rare honor of hosting the commissioning for a vessel that bears that State’s namesake.
In October, we celebrated the 248th birthday of the US Navy, which began with the purchase of four ships in Philadelphia in 1775, growing to over 291 battle force ships in present day, and soon to be joined by the USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796). Over the US Navy’s history, two other ships have previously been named USS NEW JERSEY, both battleships – BB 16 and BB 62, currently moored as a museum at Camden, NJ.
In a few days, we will also observe the 105th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the Great War on November 11th, 1918, and hold solemn remembrance for the nearly 10 million uniformed personnel and equal number of civilians who perished during this global conflict.
While thoughts of World War I conjure images of trench warfare and the introduction of tanks in Europe, on the high seas, it was the submarine that proved to be the technological advancement of that era that would most profoundly shape the future of Naval warfare. Since then, submarines have evolved to become instruments of science in addition to their role as formidable weapons. They perform a variety of missions, including humanitarian tasking, and serve as a vital component of America’s global maritime strategy.
It is with this understanding of the past, that we marvel at our present, and look forward to the day when USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796), joins the fleet and takes her place in America’s arsenal and writes her own chapter in US Naval History.
Date, location, ticketing…
We are excited to announce that we are now taking ticketing requests for the historic Commissioning of the USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796)!
What: 🇺🇸 Commissioning of the USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796) 🇺🇸
When: April 6, 2024; 10am
Where: Naval Weapons Station Earle, Leonardo, NJ
Please note the following:
- There are a limited number of General Public tickets. Ticket requests will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Ticket requests must be submitted by January 15, 2024.
- All ticket requests received prior to January 15, 2024 will be submitted to the US Navy.
- Those who qualify will receive an email invitation to attend from the US Navy. You must RSVP to that invitation to receive a ticket. Physical tickets will be mailed to the address you provide.
- The USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796) Commissioning Committee will not have access to ticket information or status of any ticket requests once the ticket requests have been submitted.
We look forward to seeing you at the Commissioning!
Thank you to our recent sponsors:
- Lockheed Martin
- Johnson and Johnson
- Greencastle Consulting
- VFW, State of New Jersey
- VFW Post 2290 – Manville, NJ
- VFW Post 7767 – Medford, NJ
- Eastchester Veterans
- Team Eagle
- Pt Pleasant Rotary Club
- Bayshore Mayors Association
- Thomas Finnegan
- Carter Braun
- Luis Arellano
- Christopher Vincent
Thank you to all of those who have purchased merchandise. It supports our fundraising efforts.
A listing of all sponsors can be found on our website – njcommissioning.com. Thank you to all.
All contributions are earmarked to directly support the crew and families, both pre and post commissioning. Funds will be used to support future crew visits, family support, morale, welfare, and recreation events, and scholarships programs.
Giving Tuesday will be a great time to contribute. Our social media will highlight how.
News From The Boat
Fast Cruise and Sea Trials
Later this month the next USS New Jersey (SSN 796) will complete two major operational milestones on her path toward commissioning, Fast Cruise and Initial Sea Trials. The submarine is presently at a Newport News Shipbuilding pier along the James River in Virginia. After over 4-1/2 years of construction, the submarine is nearly complete, she has demonstrated operational readiness of major systems and equipment, and her crew is trained and ready to take her to sea for the first time.
Fast Cruise is a simulated underway period with the submarine remaining tied up to the pier. The purpose is to assess the crew’s ability to safely take the ship to sea for the first time. At the start of Fast Cruise, the submarine and crew are ready in all respects for the subsequent commencement of Initial Sea Trials. The reactor will be started up with the power plant steaming, all utilities will be disconnected from the pier, and the crew will operate the submarine as if it is underway. New Jersey crewmembers will station the Maneuvering Watch and simulate getting underway and transiting on the surface out to sea. They will rig the submarine for dive, stand and rotate through all watch sections, conduct various ship-wide evolutions, and exercise each underway watch section through routine evolutions and casualty drills. The crew will establish a normal underway routine, including taking their underway meals and sleeping in their racks.
Immediately following the successful completion of Fast Cruise New Jersey will get underway for Initial Sea Trials, also referred to as Alpha Sea Trials. During Alpha Sea Trials New Jersey will spend several days at sea to test the boat’s systems and components. Major testing includes submerging the submarine for the first time, checking initial water tightness, propulsion plant performance testing, high-speed maneuvers while on the surface and submerged, and testing of the emergency main ballast tank blow system. New Jersey will also test sonar, communications, weapons systems, and auxiliary systems. Alpha Sea Trials is an opportunity for the crew to perform and put all their training to practical use.
New Jersey is designed to carry an integrated male and female crew of 134, but during Alpha Sea Trials she is expected to have approximately 200 people on board, including representatives from the shipbuilder and senior U.S. Navy leadership. This level of participation reflects the collective confidence and trust in the design, construction, quality, and testing of the submarine and her systems, and training and competence of the officers and crew.
Completion of Alpha Sea Trials will be a huge milestone and justifiable source of immense pride for everyone involved including the officers and crew, U.S. Navy civilian and military leadership, government officials, thousands of suppliers from around the country, and shipbuilders from Newport News Shipbuilding and Electric Boat. We look forward to reporting successful completion as Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New Jersey proceeds through the subsequent sea trials stages toward her commissioning as USS New Jersey at Naval Weapons Station Earle pier in Sandy Hook Bay on April 6, 2024. We hope to see you there.
Coin Design Contest – FINAL DAYS!
The USS NEW JERSEY (SSN 796) Commissioning Committee is sponsoring a Coin Design Contest with NJ middle and high school students. In addition to raising awareness with the students across the state, the winner will receive a $1000 scholarship and an invitation to the Commissioning Ceremony at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Leonardo, NJ on April 6, 2024. The new design will also be minted on the back side of the official Commissioning Coin which will be available to purchase at the commissioning.
- Must be a high school or middle school student who is a resident of New Jersey.
- Each student may submit one entry.
- The coin design should fit within a circle of 2″ in diameter (one side only).
- Each entry should include a sketch of the coin design along with a brief explanation of its symbolism and significance. Include your name, your school’s name, and county.
- Submit designs to USSNJCoinContest@gmail.com
Submissions must be received by November 15. If you know someone who is interested is submitting a design, please share this information.
Plenty of new OFFICIAL SSN 796 merchandise has arrived in the store, including collectible shot glasses, classic holiday ornaments, and cozy sweatshirts. Plan your early holiday shopping at https://ussnjcc.myshopify.com/ .