The blue crew of the U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine, USS Alaska (SSBN 732) returned to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia on Nov. 14 following a strategic deterrence patrol.
The boat is one of five ballistic-missile submarines stationed at the base and is capable of carrying up to 20 UGM-133A Trident II (Trident D5) submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) with multiple nuclear warheads.
USS Alaska has been in commission with the U.S. Navy since 1986 and is the fourth Navy ship to be named for the Territory or State of Alaska.
The contract to build Alaska was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation (GDEB) in Groton, Connecticut, on 27 February 1978 and her keel was laid down there on 9 March 1983.
She was launched on 12 January 1985, sponsored by Mrs. Catherine Stevens, wife of US Senator Theodore F. Stevens of Alaska; and commissioned on 25 January 1986, with Captain Paul L. Callahan in command of the Blue Crew and Captain Charles J. Chotvacs in command of the Gold Crew.
The mission of the SSBN force is strategic deterrence, which is the act of deterring a nuclear attack with a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent force. SSBNs serve as an undetectable launch platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. They are considered the most survivable leg of the strategic deterrent triad; the others legs being long-range manned aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.