CROWN POINT — Residents have a chance to meet the crew of the new USS Indiana nuclear attack submarine Friday.
More than 70 years have passed since the last USS Indiana sailed, and now the newest attack submarine in the U.S. Navy's fleet is named Indiana.
The American Legion Post 20, 1401 N. Main St., is hosting a meet and greet with the crew of the USS Indiana, which was christened in April. A replica of the submarine will be on site for participants to view. The event will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The USS Indiana is the first submarine named for the state in more than 75 years.
Ray Shearer, the chairman of the USS Indiana Commissioning Committee, said the sailors have toured the state over the past year to raise awareness for the Hoosier boat and to thank the over 150 Indiana manufacturers that built different components for the submarine.
"Hoosiers get to know the sailors, but it's important for the sailors to get to learn more about their namesake," Shearer said. "It's about building a lasting relationship with the people of Indiana."
The sailors will also take part in Hammond's Veteran Appreciation Day parade at 10 a.m. Saturday in the city’s 5th and 6th districts. The parade route travels from Olcott Avenue, down 173rd Street and ends at the Hessville Park Veterans Memorial.
Shearer said the submarine is about 98 percent complete.
"She's in the water," he said. "Sailors scheduled to move onboard sometime next month."
In late spring/early summer the submarine will officially be commissioned into the service of the Navy. The ceremony, a public event Shearer would like Hoosiers to attend, will either be at Norfolk, Virginia, or Port Canaveral, Florida. Details have yet to be released.