Navy connects submarine USS Washington with state

SEATTLE — Navy Secretary Ray Mabus held a vessel naming ceremony with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in Seattle Thursday to help connect the state with a new attack submarine that bears its name.

The nuclear-powered USS Washington was named last year and is under construction in Newport News, Va. It is expected to join the fleet in 2016. Inslee’s office said it’s the first Navy vessel to carry the state’s name since a World War II battleship.

Mabus said Washington has been a great partner with the Navy. Puget Sound is the third-largest fleet center after Norfolk, Va., and San Diego.

Mabus completed a visit to the area Thursday that included stops in Bremerton and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. He said he heard concerns about looming budget cuts.

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