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  • Length: 377 feet (114.8 meters); 461 feet (140.5 meters) with VPM

  • Armament: Tomahawk missiles, twelve VLS tubes, MK48 ADCAP torpedoes, four torpedo tubes

  • Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft

  • Speed: 25+ knots

LET'S BRING HER TO LIFE

SHIP'S SPONSOR

Meet Oklahoma's Sponsor:

Ms. Mary Slavonic

The Sponsor, historically a woman, is selected and invited by the Secretary of the Navy. She maintains a lifelong relationship with the ship and her crew. This bond begins with the ship’s christening and the initial (plank owner) crew. Ideally, the relationship is one of continuity throughout the ship’s service life. As the vessel’s figurehead, Sponsors are encouraged to make every effort to maintain contact with successive captains and crews.

Why Does a Ship Have a Sponsor?

Every United States Navy Ship is appointed a Sponsor by the Secretary of the Navy. Sponsors occupy a unique role in the life of a vessel. As they christen their ships, bestowing the name chosen by the Secretary of the Navy, they become an integral part of that ship’s history. While the ship’s crew will change many times during a ship’s life, the Sponsor remains the same. At the commissioning ceremony, the Ship’s Sponsor is the one who gives the order to, “Man our boat and bring her to life!”


In June 2020, Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite named Ms. Mary Slavonic the Ship’s Sponsor. Slavonic’s Oklahoma heritage dates to the days of the land run. Her maternal grandmother made the 1910 Oklahoma to California road trip on the barely passable roads that would become Route 66. Slavonic graduated from Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Oklahoma City. She also attended the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University and was a local business owner for many years.

Slavonic, a native Oklahoman, has a long history of supporting both Oklahoma and the US Navy. Slavonic worked alongside her husband, acting Under Secretary of the Navy Greg Slavonic, in building the USS Oklahoma Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to honor the 429 men who perished aboard the ship on December 7, 1941.

 

Ms. Slavonic said, “It’s an honor and privilege to be selected as a ship’s sponsor and I am overjoyed at the opportunity to be connected to the future USS Oklahoma. I look forward to building relationships with the crews of this ship and bearing witness to the great work they do in support of the Fleet while sharing my affinity for the great state of Oklahoma.”

ON THE BRIDGE

Commanding Officer

CDR Aaron M. Stutzman

Commanding Officer, PCU OKLAHOMA (SSN 802)
U. S. Navy

CDR Aaron Stutzman received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2003 prior to commissioning at the Naval Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL.
 

CDR Stutzman served from 2005 to 2008 onboard USS PASADENA (SSN 752) where he completed two Western Pacific deployments, an Eastern Pacific deployment, and a CNO availability. He served as Operations Officer onboard USS KENTUCKY (SSBN 737) (BLUE) from July 2012 to August 2013 and then split toured to USS OHIO (SSGN 726) (GOLD) serving as Combat Systems Officer from August 2013 to January 2016 completing two certifications for Western Pacific deployments and two major maintenance periods. He served as Executive Officer onboard USS JACKSONVILLE (SSN 699) from July 2017 to January 2019 where the ship earned the COMSUBRON ONE Battle Efficiency “E” award, Personnel White “P,” and Weapons White “W” for 2017.
 

CDR Stutzman’s shore assignments include shift engineer at the MARF prototype where he also completed a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. While attending the United States Naval War College post-department head he earned a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies and graduated as a Gravely Fellow. Post-Executive Officer he served as the Deputy for Strategic Forces and Nuclear Weapons at Submarine Group 9. CDR Stutzman most recently completed a tour as the Material Deputy at COMSUBRONFIFTEEN in Guam and is currently working on a Doctor of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University. CDR Stutzman is conducting initial manning of PCU OKLAHOMA (SSN 802) in Newport News, VA.
 

CDR Stutzman, his wife Sabrina, and 3 boys (AJ, Brayden, and Gavin) call their farm in Easton, NY home.

COMMISSIONING

What is Commissioning?

Placing a ship into commission is placing a ship into active service. This happens only after the vessel has completed rigorous testing and sea trials.

 

The shipbuilder determines when the ship can perform her designed mission and is prepared to join the fleet. Once in commission, the commanding officer and crew become responsible for the ship—keeping her ready in times of peace to carry out successful operations during times of war.

Dots

What Happens at a Commissioning Ceremony?

While Commissioning is a historic practice, the ceremony is relatively new. High-ranking officials, dignitaries, the Ship’s Sponsor, Committee members, family and friends of the Sailors assigned to the boat, and the public arrive to view the vessel. The ceremony typically includes the following:

  • National Anthem & Pledge of Allegiance

  • Invocation Prayer

  • Speeches by Commanders and Officers.

  • The Sponsor presents the ship’s name and instructs the crew to, "Man our boat and bring her to life.”

  • Raising of the Colors: American flag and commissioning pennant are hoisted while bugles sound.

  • Ringing the Bell: A tradition that commemorates significant eight events in Naval history.

  • Crew Takes Command of the Vessel: This is the hand-off from the shipbuilder’s representatives to the crew.

SERVICE

How a Boat Enters Service in the Navy’s Fleet

From the of the keel-laying ceremony, officially marking the commencement of construction, to the christening and commissioning ceremonies, a naval vessel progresses from shipyard to service.

Laying of the Keel

The first public milestone in the history of a ship is the simple ceremony that marks the laying of the keel. This is the formal recognition of the start of a boat's construction. At this moment the ship begins its transition from design to reality.

August 2, 2023

Naming

From the earliest days of the Navy, ship names came from a variety of sources. On March 3, 1819, Congress formally tasked the Secretary of the Navy with the responsibility. Still, many of the practices around ship naming are the product of evolution and tradition, more than legislation. The Secretary receives many recommendations and nominations before selecting names for specific ships.

 

The prefix: USS stands for “United States Ship” and is assigned to a commissioned ship in the Navy. Before commissioning a ship may appear with the letters PCU in place of USS. This indicates the vessel is a "pre-commissioning unit."

August 2, 2023

Christening

Reminiscent of the Christian practice of baptizing and naming a child, the Sponsor bestows the ship’s name while smashing the bottle of christening fluid against the bow. Champagne became the fluid of choice from the late nineteenth century. The Christening bestows a blessing on the boat. At this moment, the boat is launched into the water to begin sea trials.

Late 2025 / Early 2026

Sea Trials

The new vessel undergoes a rigorous series of sea trials and safety checks before being commissioned into service. The time between christening-launching and commissioning may take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Deficiencies are uncovered and corrected, preparing the vessel for sea readiness.

Early 2026

SYSTEMS ONLINE

Bringing the Boat to Life

This important symbolic act marks the end of designing, building, and testing the boat—and the beginning of active service in the Navy’s fleet.

 

When the Sponsor tells the crew to, “man our boat and bring her to life,” the crew runs aboard to bring the systems online. At this moment, the boat becomes home to her crew and goes into operation.

The USS Oklahoma SSN 802 Commissioning Committee was formed to provide for the christening and commissioning ceremonies of the future USS Oklahoma SSN 802. The committee is raising awareness and funds for these historical events. The Committee also supports the crew by allocating donations for the benefit of crew through the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Fund. The MWR Fund helps offset a range of support efforts for the crew such as emergency travel for the Sailors, further education, and holiday meals.

Together, the Committee, the Sailors and plank owners are bringing the ship to life.

 

Mission: The USS Oklahoma SSN 802 Commissioning Committee is dedicated to supporting the christening, commissioning, and crew welfare of the new US Navy warship, the USS Oklahoma SSN 802, through fundraising and event planning.

Legacy 

Boat Crest

Tace Ad Victorium

Motto: Tace ad Victorium “Be Silent For Victory” recognizes OKLAHOMA’s acoustic superiority and the Latin words are 4-2-9 letters for the 429 Sailors lost on Dec 7, 1941 aboard Battleship Oklahoma.

SSN 802

SSN 802 is branded onto the leather holding the arrowhead tying to the cattle industry and the Native American heritage of Oklahoma.

Cowboy Hat

Cowboy hat with Red Tailed Hawk feather pays homage to the Western heritage and the state raptor of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Outline

Oklahoma state outline on top of the Osage shield is a recognition of the state flag of Oklahoma.

Colored Sky

Colored sky with Native American looking to the Battleship Oklahoma cloud recognizes our history and ties to BB-37 flowing to the brand new Virginia class submarine carrying forward the name of OKLAHOMA.

Belt Buckle

USS OKLAHOMA belt buckle recognizes the cowboy gritty lifestyle, ties to the submarine warfare dolphin insignia, and incorporates the Oklahoma oil industry with the “A” as an oil rig.

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