Bethel Alum Christens USS Minnesota

January 29, 2013 | 8:47 a.m.

By Mark Van Dusseldorp ’14

Bethel Alum Christens USS Minnesota

USS Minnesota. (Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Billy Ho/Released)

In fall 2012, Brian Skon ’86 took part in the christening of the USS Minnesota, a new United States Navy fast attack submarine. Skon is a sales executive for the FedEx Corporation and co-chair of the USS Minnesota Commissioning Committee, which is responsible for three events that officially introduce the vessel into the Navy fleet.  

The final commissioning of the Minnesota will take place sometime in July or August 2013, which will officially activate the ship as part of the United States Navy. The Minnesota will be the 10th Virginia-class submarine, which is an upgraded, nuclear-powered ship designed for a wider range of military capabilities than previous submarine classes. Construction began in Newport News, Va., in February 2008. The sub will have a crew of 135, weigh approximately 7,800 tons, and will be the most advanced warship in the United States Navy. Not since 1907 has a Navy ship been named for the state of Minnesota.

In addition to his work on coordinating the ship’s commissioning events, Skon has also hosted crew members and officers, developed www.ussminnesota.org, organized promotional events at Twins and Vikings games, and coordinated the USS Minnesota logo contest. He also had a part in naming the USS America, an amphibious assault ship, which was christened in October 2012.

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