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Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrates first meal aboard future USS Indiana

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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.

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