The USS Montana, a US Navy submarine named in honor of the great State of Montana is all set for commissioning later this week.

I spoke with US Navy Commander John Quimby about the upcoming ceremony and more. Cdr. Quimby is the commander in charge of what will soon be known as the USS Montana.

Cdr. Quimby: It's been since 2017. The crew's been on board. They've been training, preparing to take the the Montana to sea, and that's what we did in February of this past year. We took it to sea, the sea trials had great success on the trials and I've taken her to sea several times since as a pre commissioning unit- PCU- and then next Saturday we'll be commissioning as a huge occasion because it only happens once in the lifetime of the ship.

It's been about since 2015 since construction first started on the USS Montana.

Commander Quimby is in the photo above signing a hat in Butte, Montana. USS Montana Committee Chairman Bill Whitsitt tells us he is signing a “Holland Club” hat in Butte for a subvet. The Club is for those who received their “Qualified Submariner” designation 50 years or more ago.

The USS Montana, thanks to volunteers and donors serving on "The USS Montana Committee", has several Montana specific symbols throughout the boat. Master Chief Petty Officer Tim Baldwin is the Chief of the Boat.

Master Chief Baldwin: As you're making your way through the boat, we have signs through our passageways that are named after rivers throughout Montana. And then our all of our berthing areas we have named after different cities in Montana. So instead of the crew saying that they live in a bunk room, starboard number two, they actually live in Missoula. So it's a great way for the crew to kind of really feel like they're a part of Montana.

He also tells us that several Charlie Russell prints will adorn key locations on the submarine like the chief's mess and the ward room.

Here is a photo of Master Chief Baldwin paying respects at the 9/11 Memorial in Bigfork:

Credit USS Montana Committee
Credit USS Montana Committee
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We also had a great chat with Petty Officer Nerio Ruiz, who talked about what it is like being a crewmember on a submarine. Full audio of all three USS Montana crewmembers:

USS Montana, Credit HII YouTube video screenshot.
USS Montana, Credit HII YouTube video screenshot.
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LOOK: 100 years of American military history