The U.S. Navy Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) returned to its homeport of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia on May 9.
The submarine was forward deployed for over 800 days supporting the U.S. Africa, Central and European Combatant Commands.
“For the past 30 months, USS Florida has been forward deployed, providing our combatant commanders with not only one of the most versatile and clandestine platforms the United States Navy has to offer, but also one capable of delivering an absolutely devastating punch at our timing and tempo,” said Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, Commander, Naval Submarine Forces.
Florida is one of just four guided-missile submarines in the U.S. Navy’s fleet and comprises half of the guided-missile submarine force in Kings Bay, home to all East Coast Ohio-class submarines to include five ballistic-missile and two guided-missile submarines.
While forward deployed, the ship sailed more than 98,000 nautical miles, which is the equivalent to nearly four times around the world, and pinned 202 new submariners with their submarine warfare, or “Dolphins.”
As an Ohio-class submarine, Florida has two crews; blue and gold. These crews of roughly 160 Sailors alternate manning the submarine and typically deploy with the ship for three month before swapping. Blue crew brought the submarine back to its homeport. The crew that isn’t deployed, trains at Trident Training Facility Kings Bay, conducting a rigorous training program including simulated missions and scenarios they could encounter while at sea. This constant training regimen helps ensure the crew is always tactically and operationally ready.
Florida will begin an extended refit period while in homeport.
USS Florida (SSGN-728)
USS Florida (SSGN-728), an Ohio-class cruise missile submarine, is the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 27th state.
The submarine was commissioned on 18 June 1983 as a ballistic missile submarine with the hull designation of SSBN-728. She was later converted to a cruise missile submarine and re-designated SSGN-728. The recommissioning ceremony was conducted at Naval Station Mayport in Florida in May 2006.
The Ohio-class SSGNs are equipped with superior communications capabilities and have the ability to carry up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles. The platform can also be configured to host up to 66 Special Operation Forces.
In total, four Ohio-class submarines (first four) were converted to SSGNs. Florida was the second submarine to complete the conversion.