INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s the U.S Navy’s newest weapon and arguably its most deadly. The USS Indiana joined the fleet just late last year with a new commanding officer.
"Indiana and her sister ships in the Virginia class are amazing feats of technology, abundant firepower...capability unlike what we've seen in the submarine force," said Commander Dave Grogan.
Right now, the fast attack nuclear submarine is in dry dock undergoing post-shakedown maintenance and updates. But it will be back on patrol, under the waves, its exact location a closely guarded secret of national security.
“We want to go wherever the President wants us and not let anyone else know we're there, so if he needs us for something it's a complete surprise,” said Commander Grogan.
Commander Dave Grogan is the Indy’s commanding officer. He recently visited his submarine’s namesake state to meet Hoosier veterans, thank donors to the commissioning committee and reconnect with his Midwest roots. He grew up just across the border in Ohio.
"It was exciting for me to get command of a ship named after a Midwest state, ‘cause there's just something different about the Midwest. We're hard working, we don't toot our own horn, we just go and get stuff done,” said Grogan.
Four ships have carried the name “Indiana” in naval history. The last one was a battleship that served with distinction in the Pacific during World War II. BB58 as it was known was decommissioned after the war, but part of it serves again on the newest USS Indiana.
"We have a piece of BB58 on board the ship," said Grogan. "Our chief's quarters table is made out of teakwood from the deck. It's almost a desire from the crew not to let the crew who served before down."
The seal of the USS Indiana recognizes the ship’s place in both naval and state history. Its motto is “Silent Victors” and it comes directly from an inscription on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
"Indiana is an amazing submarine and it’s named after an amazing state. I'm excited to be a Hoosier by proxy of the great ship Indiana."