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PHOTO RELEASE--Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Virginia-Class Submarine Delaware (SSN 791)

Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States and sponsor of the Virginia-class submarine Delaware (SSN 791), visited Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division today for the submarine's keel-laying ceremony, during which she declared the keel "truly and fairly laid." The keel laying signifies the ceremonial start of construction for the newest U.S. Navy vessel named for "The First State."

In her remarks, Biden addressed the crew of Delaware not just as the ship sponsor, but as a military mother and grandmother.

"It's our duty to make sure that you have everything you need to stay safe and do your jobs," Biden said. "You need the very best equipment and advanced technology that we can provide, and soon that will include the USS Delaware, thanks to the ingenuity and skill of the shipbuilders before us."

During the ceremony, Biden's initials were welded onto a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to the submarine, symbolizing her lifelong relationship with the shipbuilders and crew.

Other ceremony participants included Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe; Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del.; Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va.; Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va.; Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander of Submarine Forces, Submarine Forces Atlantic and Allied...