Here’s something that not only honors New Jersey but also helps woman in the Navy committed to showing their mettle.

A new fast-attack Virginia-class submarine was just delivered by shipbuilders to the United States Navy in late April. It’s the future USS New Jersey and only the third naval vessel to be named after our state.

According to Courier Post, the first USS New Jersey, BB 16, was a World War I battleship. Then BB 62, a second ship to be named after our home state, saw action in not only World War II but also in Korea and Vietnam. That’s the one everyone is familiar with which has been for the most part of recent years at Camden’s Waterfront but currently is dry docked. It’s receiving maintenance.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

This new submarine is scheduled to be commissioned in New Jersey on Sept. 14. It is 377 feet long and has the capability to stay submerged for three straight months. Cmdr. Steve Hall will be in charge as her Commanding Officer.

What’s of interest for females in the Navy is this new sub is the first Virginia-class submarine "designed with crew gender integration in mind.” That’s according to U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross.

Space is tight on a submarine. In 2011 the U.S. Navy announced the integration of women in the submarine community and was the Navy’s last large-scale gender integration. As of October, there were 609 women assigned to operational submarines deployed across 18 nuclear-powered ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines and 14 nuclear-powered attack boats.

But it hasn’t been easy. This new submarine is designed to better accommodate a mixed-gender crew without giving up any tactical capabilities.

Norcross points out the new USS New Jersey will not only honor the Garden State but open new doors and create more opportunities for women who want to serve.

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