USS Nebraska (SSBN-739)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Nebraska.
USS Nebraska (SSBN-739)
USS Nebraska (SSBN-739)
USS Nebraska (SSBN-739) at Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor, Washington
Career (US)
Namesake: The U.S. state of Nebraska
Ordered: 26 May 1987
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 6 July 1987
Launched: 15 August 1992
Sponsored by: Patricia Exon
Commissioned: 10 July 1993
Homeport: Bangor, Washington
Motto: Defensor Pacis
("The Defender of Peace")
Nickname: "Big Red"
Status: in active service, as of 2015
Badge: 739insig.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine
  • 16,764 metric tons (16,499 long tons) surfaced[1][2]
  • 18,750 metric tons (18,450 long tons) submerged[1]
Length: 560 ft (170 m)
Beam: 42 ft (13 m)[1]
Draft: 38 ft (12 m)
  • 1 × S8G PWR nuclear reactor[1]
  • 2 × geared turbines[1]
  • 1 × 325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
  • 1 × shaft @ 60,000 shp (45,000 kW)[1]
Speed: Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)[3]
Test depth: Greater than 800 feet (240 m)[3]

USS Nebraska (SSBN-739) is the 14th Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, and the second United States Navy ship to be named in honor of Nebraska, the 37th state. She carries Trident ballistic missiles.

Nebraska shares her nickname, "Big Red", with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's athletic teams.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

The contract to build Nebraska was awarded on 26 May 1987 to the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation at Groton, Connecticut. Her keel was laid there on 6 July 1987 and she was launched on 15 August 1992, sponsored by Patricia Exon, the wife of United States Senator J. James Exon (1921–2005) of Nebraska. Nebraska was delivered to the U.S. Navy on 18 June 1993 and commissioned on 10 July 1993.

Service history[edit]

Nebraska was originally assigned to Submarine Group 10 at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia. On 1 October 2004, Nebraska was transferred to Submarine Squadron 17 in Submarine Group 9 at Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor, Washington where it currently resides.

The sub has successfully launched Trident missiles for testing four times, once in 1995, in 2004, in 2008, and another in 2011.[4]

As of November 2013, the sub had completed 62 deterrent patrols during its 20 years of service. Each patrol is usually 77 days in duration followed by 35 days in port for maintenance.[4]

Following Patrol 54, Nebraska was awarded the "Battle E" for Submarine Squadron 17. Additionally, following Patrol 56, the submarine was awarded the "Battle E" for Submarine Squadron 17 for its second consecutive year. After completing an unprecedented 116 day patrol in late 2013, Nebraska was again awarded the "Battle E," her third in four years.

In popular culture[edit]

In the military hard science fiction Looking Glass series by John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor, Nebraska is converted into the first human interstellar spaceship and renamed Vorpal Blade.[5] The boat is the main setting for the majority of the second, third, and fourth books in the series, Vorpal Blade, Manxome Foe, and Claws That Catch.

Related reading[edit]

  • Waller, Douglas C. Big Red: The Three-Month Voyage of a Trident Nuclear Submarine. April 2002


  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 (help)). 
  3. ^ a b "Submarine Frequently Asked Questions". Chief of Naval Operations Submarine Warfare Division. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  4. ^ a b Hendee, David (7 September 2010), Far From Nebraska, A Namesake Keeps Watch, Omaha World-Herald, p. 1 
  5. ^ Arnold, Dale (15 June 2008). "Claws That Catch (Review of Advance Reader Copy)". Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 

External links[edit]