Michelle Obama speaks during commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois

GROTON, CT (AP) — First Lady Michelle Obama said she was “beyond proud” to take part in the commissioning ceremony for the newest U.S. Navy attack submarine.

Michelle Obama served as the ship sponsor for the USS Illinois, named for her home state, and gave the order to “man our ship and bring it to life.”

The crew of about 130 men then ran across the bow onto the vessel.

Officials say the 13th member of the Virginia class submarine cost nearly three million dollars to build.

The nuclear sub has the capability to launch missiles and unmanned vehicles.

The First Lady called the USS Illinois a “technological wonder” and the most advanced member of the navy’s fleet.

Michelle Obama said, “this moment is a little bitter sweet for me because today marks our last event together — at least while I’m First Lady. The end of a journey that started more than two years ago. Back then, this boat was in four components spread over three states. Today, it’s the most advanced ship in the Navy. A ship that’s as complicated to operate as a space shuttle, a ship that can carry out any kind of critical mission — from search and rescue to scientific research.”

Construction began in March 2011 and was delivered to the Navy in August.

The submarine is the first to carry the Illinois name in the Navy fleet in 96 years.

 

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