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Published on May 11, 2012
5.11.2012: A keel laying ceremony for the submarine North Dakota (SSN-784) took place at Electric Boat Quonset Point facility Friday. The ship's sponsor, Katie Ann Fowler, had her initials welded in a steel plate by Marvin J. Taul, of Cranston. With 40 years at EB, Taul is its longest serving welder. There are three generations of Tauls now working at Electric Boat, son, Peter and grandson, Joshua are also welders at the Quonset Point facility. The steel plate will be affixed in the submarine at a later date and forever be a part of the ship.
Katie Fowler is the wife retired vice admiral, Jeff Fowler. She stands with Kevin J. Poitras, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat, as her initials are being welded.
The North Dakota is the 11th submarine of the Virginia Class. The background for today's keel laying ceremony is the 1,700-ton 2B-5 module, one of the four super modules that will be joined to create the North Dakota. This module will be virtually complete when it is transported to the Groton shipyard for final assembly.