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Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrates first meal aboard future USS Indiana

Culinary Specialist Kevin Vandinter (right) serves Logistics Specialist Alonzo Smallwood “surf ‘n’ turf” aboard the submarine Indiana. Photo by John Whalen/HII

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrated the first meal prepared in the galley of the Virginia-class submarine Indiana (SSN 789) on Tuesday.

The crew welcomed the ship’s sponsor, Diane Donald, wife of Admiral Kirkland Donald (U.S. Navy, Ret.), former director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion and a member of HII’s Board of Directors.

Donald and the crew ate French onion soup and shrimp cocktail as appetizers. New York strip steak, butterflied lobster with bacon-wrapped scallops, baked potatoes and broccoli were the main course.

“It was a privilege to join the Indiana crew for the first meal,” Donald said. “Building a submarine is a long journey with a lot of hard work required from the entire team of shipbuilders and crew, and sometimes it’s hard to see the progress.

“Today, I could see and feel Indiana coming to life. I’m so proud of Team Indiana and look forward to getting ‘our ship’ to sea and to the fleet.”

The nuclear-powered fast attack submarine is in the final stages of construction at Newport News Shipbuilding. The next milestone is initial sea trials.