USS California (SSN 781) Joins The Fleet

PCU California (SSN 781) becomes USS California this morning in a commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk. You can watch the ceremony live at 1100 EDT here; it should also be available after the ceremony for viewing at your convenience. A timelapse video of the boat and crew preparing for commissioning can be found here. Some comments from RADM Breckenridge can be found here. And a message from the Lieutenant Governor of California is here.

Are you a plankowner?

Update 0855 29 Oct: Based on this picture on Facebook, it looks like the weather might have driven the ceremony indoors. Wusses. I stood outside in bitter December Groton cold for the commissioning of Connecticut in 1998. (As Eng, my job was to stand in front of the formation of the crewmembers who didn't have any specific role in the ceremony. That's the job I've seen the Eng do at every commissioning I've attended.)

Update 1407 29 Oct: Here are some pictures from the ceremony. And here's a picture of the crew "manning the ship and bringing her to life":

I'm sorry, but I think a commissioning ceremony is one of those times where it's OK to have the crew wear their dress uniforms topside. It's not like they're actually going to handle lines. Call me old-fashioned...

Update 2000 30 Oct: Either I didn't read the caption correctly the first time, or they've since changed it, but the caption now explains the picture above was taken during rehearsal, so it's perfectly fine that they're not in Dress Blues.