Navy

First lady to participate in new submarine's commissioning

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2016, file photo, first lady Michelle Obama speaks in Washington.

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2016, file photo, first lady Michelle Obama speaks in Washington.  (Molly Riley)

First lady Michelle Obama will participate in a commissioning ceremony Saturday for a U.S. Navy fast attack submarine.

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The submarine will officially be named the USS Illinois at the ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut. The first lady will give the order "to bring the ship to life" before the crew runs across the brow and onto the vessel.

The first lady, who is from Chicago, has made supporting military families a priority. As the ship sponsor, she will be involved in the lives of its sailors and families.

Navy secretary Ray Mabus described the new submarine as " one of the most technologically advanced platforms in the world" to the Navy's official website.

"This submarine represents not only the Navy's lasting connection to the state of Illinois but also the American innovation and manufacturing skill that have given us such a powerful advantage, making us the most powerful expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known." Mabus said.

The submarine will become the second ship to be commissioned with the name Illinois. The first Illinois was a battleship built in 1897 that was remaned Prairie State in 1941. It was scrapped 15 years later.

The submarine cost nearly $2.7 billion to build and is 13th member of the Virginia class fast attack submarine.

To watch the event live, visit their website or on the Navy's Facebook page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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