The USS West Virginia, a weapon described as having "awesome destructive capability," Saturday joined the Navy's Trident nuclear submarine fleet at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.

About 5,000 people attended the West Virginia's commissioning ceremonies in a drydock area at the base near St. Marys. The 560-foot, 18,750-ton West Virginia was the first Trident to be commissioned outside Groton, Conn., where the giant submarines are built by the Electic Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.The West Virginia is the third nuclear submarine armed with Trident II nuclear missiles to be based at Kings Bay, and is the third ship in Navy history to bear the name West Virginia.