"Man our ship and bring her to life."

That will be the order given by Sally Jewell, former Secretary of the United States Department of Interior, this Saturday morning, June 25, 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time. Mrs. Jewell is the sponsor or the newest Virginia-class attack submarine, the USS Montana, at Naval Station Norfolk.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte is scheduled to deliver the principal address, introducing what the U.S. Navy describes as "the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world. The submarine can operate in...deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities."

The USS Montana is designed as a multi-mission submarine that can conduct "anti-submarine warfare, antisurface warfare, delivery of special operations forces, strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare."

While this is the first submarine with the state's namesake, it is not the first vessel given the name Montana in the Navy fleet over the years, but you have to go back a long ways.

The first USS Montana was an armored cruiser that was commissioned in 1908. It traversed the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Among its missions, the USS Montana carried Marines to deal with an uprising in Haiti in 1914 and also escorted convoys during World War I.The ship was decommissioned in 1921.

Two other "Montanas" never saw service. One was under construction but scrapped due to agreements made in a new treaty. The other never finished construction before it was scrapped.

If you are excited to see the USS Montana be manned and brought to life, the ceremony will be live-streamed here. The link will go live just 15 minutes prior to the ceremony, 7:45 a.m. MONTANA time.

Our thanks to the Navy Office of Community Outreach for sharing the announcement with us. Their mission is to "travel the globe to collect Sailors' stories and distribute them to their hometown media."

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