US Navy raising excitement for USS South Dakota submarine

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

The USS South Dakota is the U.S. Navy’s 17th Virginia Class submarine that is currently under construction in Groton, Conn.

Navy officials attending the the 77th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally hoped to build excitement and awareness for the new vessel. The submarine will be the third ship to be named after South Dakota - the most famous being the Battleship BB-57, which was one of the most decorated battleships during WWII.

As told by Master Chief Bryan Randall, everyone seems to be enjoying their time in South Dakota.

“I've seen pretty much the whole state and I love it,” Randall said. “Every time I come out here, the people are so hospitable; everyone's excited to see sailors everywhere we go. We've even talked about moving out here, it's so nice. I love it out here. It's a fantastic state.”

Crew members could also be spotted helping with construction on the Garfield Green Project, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. The project is located on an unused school property that is being turned into affordable housing.

Machinist’s Mate Joseph Weber explained how helping with Habitat for Humanity and exploring South Dakota has been an enjoyable experience.

“It's been great,” Weber said. “Everything that has been provided to us has been awesome. Commission Committee is helping out with everything and we've had no complaints. We walk the streets of Sturgis and everybody's thanking us; everybody's taking pictures with us. This is my first time actually doing stuff with Habitat for Humanity and it's really cool. I really enjoy it.”

The USS South Dakota is expected to be commissioned in August of 2018.

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