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Native Idahoans will serve on the Navy’s U.S.S Idaho nuclear submarine

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BOISE (KIVI) — The U.S.S Idaho nuclear submarine is currently being built in Connecticut by General Dynamics. This sub will be the 26th in the Virginia Class of submarines.

To learn more about the capabilities of this sub click here for an earlier story we did as the United States Navy prepared for the keel-laying ceremony.

We wanted to do a follow up because four sailors from Idaho have the unique opportunity to serve on this submarine named after their state.

“It means a lot to me, I specifically picked these orders to come here since my family is all from Idaho,” said First Class Dalton Jones from Cascade. “I absolutely love my experience it has been difficult but it has been 100 percent worth it.”

Currently, the crew is training so they will be ready for trials after the U.S.S Idaho gets christened then eventually commissioned as the newest sub in the Navy’s fleet.

Senior Chief David Drury has served in the Navy for 22 years, the Kooskia native actually postponed his retirement specifically to train the crew of the U.S.S Idaho.

“I want these sailors to advance and be my relief but they have to have that integral training and that desire to teach others,” said Drury who will likely retire after this last mission. “I know after finishing a career, after doing this job there is not one thing on his planet I can’t do.”

RELATED: Idaho’s namesake ship, the future USS Idaho, welcomes first commanding officer

To operate this $2.44 billion submarine a crew of 135 sailors all have to work together doing different jobs in order to complete a successful mission.

LT. Commander Trevor Elison from Blackfoot, Idaho has two jobs as navigations commander and operations manager.

“I make sure the water space is safe that we drive in and make sure we don’t hit anything,” said Elison. “I also plan operations to make sure that everything goes according to plan.”

Many of these sailors come from a military family and that includes First Class Andrew Leonhardt from Nampa.

“First time down in a submarine is a little unique, a little bit strange and a little bit scary,” said Leonhardt. “But once you get used to it you really see the beauty of the machine as it operates as the crew does everything that they need to do and you kind of become part of the family.”

The U.S.S Idaho will be under the command of Nick Meyers who hopes to carry on the tradition of this ship that has quite a history.

“We want to honor the legacy forged by previous sailors on U.S.S Idaho 42,” said Commander Meyers. “She was in service from 1919 to 1946, fought in World War II and was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on September 2, 1945.”

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