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Wilmington: Sub Commissioning May 3

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During the commissioning ceremony on Saturday, May 3, a U.S. Coast Guard security zone will be in effect in the Cape Fear River in the vicinity of the Port of Wilmington. Please see this Marine Safety Information Bulletin (PDF) for details and a map of the river closure.

The Port of Wilmington will host the commissioning of the Navy's fourth Virginia-class submarine, which will become the fifth warship to bear the name North Carolina once it is commissioned.

  • The commissioning ceremony is by invitation only.
  • During the commissioning ceremony on Saturday, May 3, a U.S. Coast Guard security zone will be in effect in the Cape Fear River in the vicinity of the Port of Wilmington. Please see this Marine Safety Information Bulletin for details and a map of the river closure.
  • Invited guests with tickets to the event should follow the parking instructions that arrive with their tickets. It is strongly suggested that you arrive at the shuttle parking site as early as possible.

The Coast Guard is enforcing a vessel protection zone while the submarine is in port. Please see this Marine Safety Information Bulletin from the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port for information.

The vessel arrived at the Port Monday, with a dockside welcome from U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, the Hoggard High School band, the Commissioning Committee, and friends and family members of the crew.

The commissioning ceremony itself will have minimal impact on Port operations and navigation in the Cape Fear River. Please see this Marine Safety Information Bulletin about special navigational regulations while the sub is in port.

The commissioning is sponsored by a local host committee, with support from the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy and the sub's builder, Northrop Grumman Corp. On Saturday, May 3, the Navy will offer streaming video of the commissioning on the Submarine Group 2 website.

For information about activities during the week the sub is in town, see the Events page of the committee's website.

Please note that there are no events on the Port of Wilmington that are open to the public, and access to the Port is controlled by security plans approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. For any questions about the commissioning, please contact the Commissioning Committee.

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