NORFOLK, Va.- U.S. Sen. Tom Carper delivered a keynote address at the Change of Command Ceremony for the first Navy ship to be named after the First State in almost 100 years.

Carper spoke Friday at Norfolk Naval Base where Capt. Brian P. Hogan relinquished command to Commander Matthew Horton as Commanding Officers of the USS Delaware (SSN 791), a Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine.  

The USS Delaware will have a commissioning ceremony in Wilmington in April 2020.

“Over the last several years, I’ve been honored to work with Commanding Officer Brian Hogan to make sure the USS Delaware crew feels a connection to the First State – from welcoming crew members at NASCAR events to giving them a warm welcome on the University of Delaware’s football field during a game,” said Carper. “Hogan has shared my vision of ensuring the crew is proud to serve aboard a vessel named after the First State, the USS Delaware. He has been a tremendous leader who has led by his example, and I want to thank him and his family for all that they have done to get the USS Delaware to this point. You’ll always be welcome in the Delaware! I look forward to welcoming Commander Horton to the First State family as we plan for the USS Delaware’s commissioning in Wilmington early next year.”

While the USS Delaware is the first Navy ship to be named for the First State since 1923, it's the seventh vessel to bear the name overall. According to Carper's office, The USS Delaware is a nuclear-powered, fast-attack Virginia Class submarine