The submarine USS New Jersey has been launched into the James River by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News at its shipbuilding facility.

This doesn’t mean, however, that the sub is ready for action. According to HII, about 92% of the work on the USS New Jersey is complete; it still must undergo inspections, sea trials, and crew certification before being turned over to the U.S. Navy sometime later this year.

Construction began in 2015 and 10,000 shipbuilders and suppliers from all 50 states were involved in the construction of the vessel. She was moved to the company’s submarine pier with the help of tugboats for her launch. You can see a time-lapse video of the process here:

The submarine is the third USS New Jersey to serve; according to the Dep. Of Defense, the first USS New Jersey (Battleship No. 16) was commissioned in 1906 and then sailed as part of the around-the-world cruise of the Great White Fleet. It spent most of its career in the Atlantic and West Indies, decommissioning in 1920.

The second USS New Jersey (BB 62) was commissioned in early 1943 before sailing for the Pacific. It served as a fast carrier escort and shore bombardment platform in the war against Japan, earning nine battle stars through the end of World War II.

Although decommissioned in the post-war drawdown, it returned to service three more times over the next 45 years; once for the Korean War, once for Vietnam, and again for service in the 1980s at the end of the Cold War. New Jersey now serves as a museum ship in Camden, New Jersey.

The newest USS New Jersey will be the Navy’s 23rd Virginia-class fast attack submarine.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: