Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker became an honorary submariner Wednesday at a ceremony to recognize the future USS South Dakota.
The U.S. Secretary of the Navy has authorized the last Virginia Class submarine to be named the USS South Dakota. So, to recognize the USS South Dakota, members of the Polaris Based Submarine Veterans Incorporated presented Mayor Kooiker with a USS South Dakota ball cap and made him an honorary submariner.
Retired navy commander Wiley Cress said there has been a battleship named after our state, but this is the first submarine.
"It's going to be 377 feet long, about 34 feet wide, it weighs close to 8,000 tons; it has a crew of 120 enlisted and 14 officers," said Cress.
Cress said it will probably be a couple of years before the USS South Dakota is complete.