Calling it an “unbelievable privilege,” State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) joined an Illinois delegation of elected officials, attending the christening of the USS Illinois SSN-786 submarine in Groton, Connecticut on Oct. 10.
“It was incredible to not only see the submarine and all the technology behind it, but to see the thousands of people show their support for our brave men and women who fight for our country and freedom around the world,” Rezin said. “It was an experience that reinforces how proud I am to be an American, and how proud I am of our country.”
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made remarks to those in attendance, and First Lady Michelle Obama christened the submarine.
Senator Rezin also met the USS Illinois Commanding Officer, Jesse Porter, several veterans, and several constituents from the 38th District who made the trip, including Ken Browning from Exelon’s Braidwood plant.
“Many people who work at our energy producing plants are recruited or retired from the military, because they are some of most talented and well respected people around,” Rezin said. “Our servicemen and women, along with our veterans deserve the utmost respect and honor. I was so proud to join the Illinois Delegation of elected officials to be a part of this very memorable experience.”
The USS Illinois is the 13th submarine of the Virginia Class. With other ships in the class, it represents a revolution in submarine design, construction, and mission capability. The versatile and powerful vessel will maximize the contribution the U.S. submarine force makes to national security.
Illinois and the Virginia Class are among the most effective platforms in the U.S. Navy portfolio.
“I want to say thank you to all our veterans and servicemen and women, especially those who will be on board the USS Illinois,” Rezin said. “The USS Illinois is quite the impressive submarine, but it’s the people on board who will truly make it a positive force around the world.”
Senator Rezin (middle) is joined by USS Illinois Commanding Officer, Jesse Porter (right) and another member of the Navy (left).