USS Mississippi

At 377 feet long and 34 feet in diameter, the USS Mississippi is among what's billed as the Navy's 'next generation' of attack submarines.

Smaller, faster, more technologically advanced and lethal, the Navy uses subs in this category to seek and destroy enemy ships and submarines.

Set to be the ninth of its type to be commissioned, the USS Mississippi is one of less than a handful of submarines that have had the honor of being commissioned within the state which it shares a name.

'There have been 9 other ships commissioned,' says Mark McDonald, who is chairman of the USS Mississippi Commissioning Committee. 'These are USS submarines, Virginia class submarines. Of those, four have been commissioned in their own state and four have not. So, we in Mississippi are very proud to have it commissioned in our own state.'

Rear Admiral Select, Michael Jabaley says just having a submarine of this nature named after a state is a huge honor.

'There are many states that have had lobbying committees formed to convince elected officials to make the choice,' says Jabaley

Although the Navy is paying for the commissioning ceremony, the local Navy League is helping raise funds to pay for everything else.

'Everything leading up to that such as: welcoming the crew, making sure they have ball caps, proper certificates, receptions and honoring them, we will do,' says Curt Goldacker with the Meridian Area Navy League. 'We have 143 crew men coming the week prior. We're going to raise that money to make sure that they're welcomed. They in turn are going to go out into the community the week that they're here. They'll help with some different events that will be held in Gulfport and we're going to give them tours throughout the state."

To help raise money, commemorative coins are being sold. The cost is $10. Fore more information on purchasing them or making a donation log onto