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The U.S. Navy on Friday named one of its next five nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines the USS Washington, the first naval ship to be named after the state in more than 70 years.

The Virginia-class submarine will undergo construction for several years. The Puget Sound region is home to the Navy’s third-largest fleet. Twelve submarines, two aircraft carriers, support ships and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard are based here.

U. S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton, said the naming “recognizes the strategic importance of our region as well as the substantial contributions that our state makes to keep our Navy strong. I was delighted to hear from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that one of the newest and most capable fast-attack submarines in the fleet will be designated Washington.”

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray called it a “well deserved honor.”

The four other submarines were named after Illinois, Colorado, Indiana and South Dakota. Eight Virginia-class submarines are already in service and four are awaiting delivery. All have been named after states but one, which was named after John Warner, the former Navy secretary and Republican senator from Virginia.

Also, read more on the USS Washington in Brier Dudley’s Blog: More details on USS Washington, the Dreamliner sub?