BILLINGS- A new USS Montana is under construction, and the commander visited Billings Thursday night.
Commander Michael Delaney spoke to the USS Montana Commissioning Committee and the Rotary Clubs at Camelot Ranch in Billings.
“This is my fourth submarine that I’ve served on, and, bar none, the people in Montana are the most excited that I’ve ever seen for their submarine,” Delaney said.
The U.S. Navy started using the first USS Montana in 1908, and it was decommissioned in 1921.
The Navy canceled plans for USS Montana battleships in 1922 and 1943.
The new USS Montana is the U.S. Navy’s 23rd Virginia class nuclear submarine.
It is being built by Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding in Virgina.
The nuclear-powered submarine is capable of launching Tomahawk missiles, MK 48 torpedoes and unmanned undersea vehicles.
“One of the best submarines out there in the world right now,” he said. “We have to continue to keep that edge and we are doing that as a force. Absolutely the best out there now but we continue to improve it.”
The USS Montana is scheduled to be complete in May of 2020.
Commander Delaney and Electronics Technician Second Class Evan Glenn from Bozeman will visit Helena and Great Falls on Friday and Missoula on Saturday.