SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- The first of four Ohio-class Trident missile submarines being converted to carry guided missiles and Special Operations Forces
(SOF) rejoined the fleet in a return to service ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Feb.
In December, USS Ohio (SSGN 726) completed conversion to a guided-missile submarine capable of carrying more than 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles and more than 60 SOF members for extended periods. This conversion is a major step forward in the Navy
’s ability to fight the global war on terrorism.
During the ceremony, guest speaker Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani
, vice chairman, Joint Chiefs
of Staff, spoke of the new role Ohio will
have as it steers towards danger, rather than away from it.
, the ship’s sponsor, presented the crew a ship’s patch worn by Sen. John Glenn
on his return to space in 1998. The patch was autographed by all seven astronauts aboard the shuttle and will now be displayed in the wardroom.
USS Michigan (SSGN 727), USS Florida (SSGN 728), and USS Georgia (SSGN 729) are also undergoing conversion to SSGN and are scheduled to return to service over the next two years.