Navy secretary to preside over sub's christening

By MICHAEL MELIA | December 2, 2011 | 7:55 PM EST

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says the naming of the Navy's newest submarine Mississippi honors the resilience and patriotism of his home state.

The former Mississippi governor will be the main speaker when the Navy christens the attack submarine this weekend at a ceremony at Groton shipyard.

He told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that the Virginia-class sub ought to be a source of pride for a state that has "come back from a lot" including the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

The submarine will be commissioned as the USS Mississippi at a June 2012 ceremony in Gulfport, Miss. It is the fifth Navy vessel to be named for the Magnolia State.

The $2.6 billion vessel is to be christened Saturday at the shipyard of Electric Boat.