BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ A delegation from North Dakota is traveling to Rhode Island this week for the keel-laying ceremony for the nuclear submarine being named for the state.
The ceremony for the USS North Dakota under construction is set for Friday. Ship sponsor Katie Fowler will sign her initials on a section of the ship's hull and a welder will weld the initials. Fowler's husband is retired Navy Vice Adm. Jeff Fowler, a Bismarck native who is a former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.
USS North Dakota Committee Chairman Bob Wefald will lead the state delegation to the keel-laying ceremony.
The $2.6 billion submarine is to be commissioned in 2014. Wefald says it will have a service life expectancy of 33 years.