USS Georgia (SSGN-729)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Georgia.
USS Georgia (SSGN-729)
USS Georgia (SSGN-729)
USS Georgia (SSGN-729)
Career (US)
Namesake: U.S. state of Georgia
Ordered: 20 February 1976
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down: 7 April 1979
Launched: 6 November 1982
Commissioned: 11 February 1984
Homeport: Kings Bay, Georgia
Motto: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation
Status: in active service, as of 2014
Badge: 729insig.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Ohio-class submarine
Displacement: 16,764 metric tons (16,499 long tons) surfaced[1][2]
18,750 metric tons (18,450 long tons) submerged[1]
Length: 560 feet (170 m)
Beam: 42 ft (13 m)[1]
Draft: 38 feet (12 m)
Propulsion: 1xS8G PWR nuclear reactor[1]
2x geared turbines[1]
1x325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
1 shaft @ 60,000 shp (45 MW)[1]
Speed: Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)[3]
Test depth: Greater than 800 feet (240 m)[3]
Complement: 15 officers[1][2]
140 enlisted[1][2]
Armament: 4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
154 × BGM-109 Tomahawks in 22 groups of seven.

USS Georgia (SSBN-729/SSGN-729), an Ohio-class submarine, is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the fourth state.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 20 February 1976 and her keel was laid down on 7 April 1979. She was launched on 6 November 1982 sponsored by Mrs. Sheila M. Watkins, and commissioned as a fleet ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) on 11 February 1984, with Captain A.W. Kuester commanding the Blue crew and Captain M.P. Gray commanding the Gold crew. This ship was later converted to a guided missile submarine (SSGN) for carrying guided cruise missiles instead of fleet ballistic missiles in its missile compartment.

Operational History[edit]

From March to April, 1984 she went on her shakedown cruise and test-launched a Trident C-4 missile in the Eastern Test Range on 7 April 1986.[4] In November 1984, she arrived in her home port of Bangor, Washington. In January 1985 she started her first strategic deterrence patrol. As an element of Task Unit 14.7.1 from September 1983 to May 1986, she was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation. She was awarded her second Meritorious Unit Commendation for Submarine Operations between February 1986 to August 1986.

On 22 March 1986, three miles south of Midway Island, USS Secota (YTM-415) had just completed a personnel transfer from Georgia, when Secota lost power and collided with Georgia '​s stern plane. Secota sank within two minutes. Ten people were rescued, including the Georgia crewman who had just transferred to Secota. Two Secota crewmen were lost. Georgia was undamaged.[5][6]

Her Gold Crew was awarded the Comsubron Seventeen Battle Efficiency Award for 2001.

On 30 October 2003, Georgia returned from her 65th and last deterrent patrol.

On 7 November 2003, while Georgia was docked at Bangor, Washington, her C-4 Trident I missiles were offloaded. The process proceeded smoothly until tube number 16. When each tube was opened, a ladder was lowered into the tube so a sailor could climb down and attach a hoist to lift the missile. After attaching the hoist to the missile in tube 16, the sailor climbed out, and the crew took a break without removing the ladder. When they returned, they began to hoist the missile, pulling against the ladder and cutting a nine-inch (230 mm) hole in its nose cone. No radioactive material was released.

Three enlisted men in the missile handling team faced a court-martial. The Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific was immediately shut down and inspected by the Navy, and failed to pass. SWFPAC's commanding officer, Captain Keith Lyles, was relieved of command on 19 December, followed by his executive officer, Commander Phillip Jackson, weapons officer, Commander Marshall Millett, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Command Steven Perry. SWFPAC reopened after passing inspection under a new commanding officer on 9 January 2004. Georgia '​s crew was unaffected.

Conversion to SSGN[edit]

Georgia was redesignated to SSGN on 1 March 2004. In October 2004 she participated as the command node of Exercise Silent Hammer to validate and showcase the new Joint Warfare and ISR capabilities.[7]

In March 2005, Georgia entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for her scheduled Engineered Refueling Overhaul. The SSGN conversion took place concurrently.[8][9] The conversion and refitting work was completed in February 2008.[10] After the refit, Georgia moved to her new home port in Kings Bay, Georgia.[11]

Georgia was officially welcomed home in Kings Bay, Georgia on 28 March 2008 in a return to service ceremony attended by Governor Sonny Perdue.[12][13][14] On August 2009, Georgia began first SSGN deployment.[15] On January 2010, Georgia earned Squadron SIXTEEN battle efficiency "E" for 2009. GEORGIA Blue crew earns Squadron SIXTEEN Engineering Red "E", Navigation Red and Green "N".[16]

In December 2010, a bolt inadvertently left in one of the sub's engine housings did $2.2 million in damage and forced the boat into three months of repairs. One officer and several enlisted sailors were disciplined over the mishap.[17]

In Fiction and Literature[edit]

The submarine is featured prominently in the 2012 naval thriller, Fire of the Raging Dragon, by Don Brown.

References[edit]

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register and various press releases.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ohio-class SSGN-726". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Frost, Peter. "Newport News contract awarded". Daily Press. Retrieved 2011-09-27. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b "Submarine Frequently Asked Questions". Chief of Naval Operations Submarine Warfare Division. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  4. ^ "Florida Today Space and Missile Launch Database". Florida Today. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  5. ^ "Tug sinks after hitting sub". Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA). 24 March 1986. p. A4. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  6. ^ "Tugboat Sinks". The Orlando Sentinel. 24 March 1986. p. A8. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  7. ^ Duryea, Dave, Capt., USN. "USS Georgia – The Silent Hammer". Undersea Warfare. Retrieved 2006-08-29. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "USS Georgia SSBN Enters Conversion to SSGN "Tactical Trident" SpecOps Sub". Defense Industry Daily. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Four SSGNs, No Waiting". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Isakson Praises Navy’s Decision to Move USS Georgia to Kings Bay". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Navy Marks USS Georgia's Return To Service". CBS 4 News Jacksonville. Retrieved 2008-12-03. [not in citation given]
  13. ^ "USS GEORGIA Return to service". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Navy Marks USS Georgia's Return To Service". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "USS Georgia goes on patrol". [dead link]
  16. ^ "Battle 'E' Awarded to USS Georgia". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Fellman, Sam, "$2.2 Million Sub Mishap Was 'Avoidable,' Report Says", Military Times, 14 May 2012

External links[edit]