By Dominic Garcia

GROTON, Conn. (CBS4)- The Navy’s newest submarine isn’t just named after Colorado, it’s really embracing the Colorado spirit. The newly-commissioned USS Colorado submarine is currently stationed in Groton, Connecticut.

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CBS4’s Dominic Garcia and photojournalist Rob McClure recently visited the sub and saw how the Centennial State’s influence is all over the vessel.

Commanding Officer Reed Koepp showed our crews the submarine’s mess, where the dining tables are covered with encouraging messages from Colorado students.

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“We really like having this. This is a big motivator for the crew. Very encouraging to see people are keeping us in their thoughts and prayers and encouraging us to do what we do,” he told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

The sailor’s dining area is also covered with huge, colorful photographs from famed Colorado photographer John Fielder.

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RELATED: Coloradans Proudly Serve On The USS Colorado Submarine

“Mr. Fielder was able to put this mural on the crew’s mess. We use this piece of real estate for eating, for lectures, we get together and watch movies. It’s really good to have a piece of Colorado around us,” Commander Koepp told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

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While spending time with the crew of the USS Colorado, it’s clear they have not forgotten those who came before them. Planks from the previous USS Colorado BB-45, a WWII battleship, line the floor of the sub’s control room.

RELATED: WWII Veteran Recalls Service On-Board Previous USS Colorado Battleship

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“It’s very interesting to learn the history and what her contribution to the fight in WWII was. She actually saw action and the amount of contribution she made to America’s part in the fight…very humbling and very awesome to learn about,” said Commander Koepp.

The USS Colorado is set to deploy later this year.

Dominic Garcia