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September 26, 2018

Montpelier, Vt. – On Thursday, Governor Phil Scott will meet with the Boat Sponsor Gloria Valdez, Commanding Officer Commander Henry Roenke and Chief of the Boat Master Chief Petty Officer James Brownson of the PCU Vermont.

“It is my honor to welcome Ms. Valdez, Commander Roenke and Master Chief Brownson to Vermont this week,” said Scott. “I am grateful for their service to the Navy and congratulate them on this most recent assignment. Our long-standing partnership with the Navy is an important part of our history – and the PCU Vermont will ensure it remains an important part of our future.”

The PCU Vermont, a pre-commissioning unit, is currently being built in Groton, Ct. by General Dynamics Electric Boat in partnership with the U.S. Navy. The boat has been named after the state of Vermont to commemorate the history between the U.S. Navy and the state. It will be the third vessel named after the state of Vermont in the history of the U.S. Navy. The Vermont is scheduled to be christened on October 20 and is expected to be commissioned into the Navy in 2019.

The Governor will welcome this group at an event on Thursday, September 27 from 11-11:30 a.m. at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier, Vt.

About the PCU Vermont

The PCU Vermont will become the USS Vermont once it is formally commissioned into the Navy. The PCU Vermont is a Virginia-class submarine, commonly referred to as a “boat.” The boat’s company will consist of 15 officers and 120 enlisted individuals. The endurance of the boat will be great enough to remain submerged for up to three months at a time.

About Gloria L. Valdez

Ms. Valdez has held several roles in the Department of the Navy and the Department of Homeland Security throughout her 29 years of civilian service. She currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for ships and has held the post since June 2015. In this role, she is responsible for executive oversight of all naval shipbuilding programs, major ship conversions, and the maintenance, modernization and disposal of in-service ships.

About Commander Henry M. Roenke IV

Commander Roenke began his naval career at the U.S. Naval Academy, graduated in 1998. His career has consisted of assignments to the USS Cheyenne, the USS Honolulu, and the USS Kentucky. CDR Roenke was most recently assigned as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy. CDR Roenke has received several personal awards during his naval career.

About Master Chief James F. Brownson

Master Chief Brownson joined the Navy in July of 1994 and attended Basic Training in Orlando, Fl. Brownson has served as a Canvasser Recruiter at NRD Pittsburgh and two tours assigned to Commander Submarine Squadron Four in Groton, Ct. as the Assistant Navigator. His most recent assignments as Assistant Navigator include USS Hartford, USS Annapolis, and USS New Mexico, before reporting to the PCU Vermont as Chief of the Boat in February 2017.