Michelle Obama to help lay keel for USS Illinois submarine

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — First lady Michelle Obama will help lay the keel for a new submarine under construction in Rhode Island.

Obama’s office says she is scheduled to speak at a ceremony at Electric Boat’s manufacturing plant in North Kingstown on Monday.

The future USS Illinois is a new Virginia-class submarine named after Obama’s home state.

The first lady is the ship sponsor. She is expected to write her initials on a metal plate, and a welder will then inscribe them. The plate will later be mounted on the submarine.

The event is the ceremonial beginning of a ship’s construction. The sub is expected to cost approximately $2.7 billion.

Both Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton have sponsored submarines. Obama also serves as the sponsor for a Coast Guard cutter.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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