State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) was among a group of lawmakers to welcome crew members and support group of the soon-to-be christened USS Illinois.
The Virginia-Class submarine, USS Illinois will be first commissioned naval vessel to bear the state's name in nearly 120 years, when it sets sail for sea trials in June. The USS Illinois' roots date back to 1897 when the last Illinois-class battleship bore the state's name, however; that ship only briefly saw action during the early 1900s. Another USS Illinois battleship was to be constructed during the World War II-era, but naval officials decided against it as the war was winding down.
In recent years, another submarine - the USS Chicago, has carried on our state's rich naval history. To find out more about the USS Illinois support group, please visit www.ussillinois.org.