Original story by Shawn Hogendorf.
The Edinan wife of the USS Minnesota's commanding officer, Capt. John Fancher, was among a delegation of nearly 70 Minnesotans that traveled to Norfolk, Virginia last weekend to take part in the commissioning of the submarine, the U.S. Navy’s newest and most advanced warship in active duty.
Amy Fancher, an Edina High School graduate, told KSTP she was happy to be in attendance.
"It's a really exciting day for all of us, our family, even friends of family back in Minnesota—being that I’m from Minnesota,” she said.
Construction of the Minnesota began in February 2008. The ship was dubbed the “Minnesota” on July 15, 2008. The selection of the moniker Minnesota, designated SSN 783, honors the state's citizens and their continued support to our nation's military.
Capt. John Fancher said the ship's technology is far superior to that of other subs he's served on.
"It's a dream come true," he told the Associated Press. "I've been in the Navy for 22 years. I've never been part of this process before, so when I say it's a once in a lifetime opportunity, it certainly is."
Those who made the privately-funded trip included 24 state lawmakers, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, guests, private citizens and members of the Twin Cities chapter of the U.S. Navy League.
No state funds were used to make the trip possible.
Upon completion, USS Minnesota will be the 10th of a projected 30 Virginia-class submarines and the third Navy ship named for the state of Minnesota.
For more information, visit www.ussminnesotassn783.com or check out photos on this Tumblr page dedicated to the USS Commissioning Ceremony.