Paul Edward Parker, Providence Journal
28 August 2015
The fast-attack submarine Illinois, built by General Dynamics Electric Boat, largely at its Quonset Point shipyard in Rhode Island, will be christened Oct. 10 at the company's shipyard in Groton, Conn., a committee connected to the submarine has announced.
The ship's sponsor, who traditionally breaks a bottle of champagne on the hull at the christening, is First Lady Michelle Obama.
A spokesman for Electric Boat confirmed that the ceremony will be held on Oct. 10, but deferred to the White House when asked whether Mrs. Obama will attend.
The first lady's press office declined to comment on her plans.
The christening is the middle of three ceremonial milestones in the construction of a Naval submarine. Early in the construction, a keel laying ceremony is held, when the sponsor's initials are welded into a steel plate that will become part of the ship. The final ceremony is commissioning, when the submarine officially becomes a U.S. warship.
Mrs. Obama chalked her initials into a steel plate to be traced by a welder at the keel laying for Illinois on June 2, 2014, at the Quonset Point shipyard.
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