Ten Navy sailors from the USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790) submarine will stay overnight in Pierre Sunday night and gather at the Capitol building Monday morning as part of the “USS SOUTH DAKOTA Ride Across South Dakota.”
Pierre mayor Steve Harding says the public is welcome to visit with the sailors Sunday evening at Steamboat Park.
Harding says the sailors will also be at the State Capitol Monday morning.
The sailors (including Commanding Officer Craig Litty and Chief of the Boat Adam Goulas) will be riding the Commemorative USS SOUTH DAKOTA 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide.
Motorcyclists are invited to join the ride which starts Sunday morning at the Battleship USS SOUTH DAKOTA (BB 57) Memorial in Sioux Falls. Sailors will stop in Mitchell, Pierre, the Badlands and Sturgis, where the commemorative Harley will be on permanent display in the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. The bike will be maintained in running condition. Any sailor assigned to SSN 790 is allowed to check the bike out and ride it anywhere in South Dakota.
South Dakota artist Mickey Harris created and painted the bike, which honors the history of Battleship SOUTH DAKOTA and commemorates Submarine SOUTH DAKOTA. J&L Harley-Davidson of Sioux Falls is the sponsoring dealership and along with Black Hills Harley-Davidson will ensure the bike is maintained over the next 30 years.
On April 13, 2012, the Secretary of the Navy announced that U.S. Navy submarine SSN 790 would be named in honor of the State of South Dakota. Carrying a crew of 14 officers and 117 enlisted servicemen, USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790) will be armed with two Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT), each capable of holding six vertical launch Tomahawk missiles that can strike land targets up to 1,240 miles away. The ship is powered by a nuclear reactor, offering an unlimited source of fuel lasting the life span of the ship, which is projected to be over 30 years. The USS SOUTH DAKOTA was commissioned on February 2nd, 2019 in Groton, CT.