BANGOR, Wash. – The Ohio-class guided-missile nuclear submarine USS Alabama (SNLE 731) recently returned to Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base after completing its 100th patrol.
The patrol was completed by the Alabama Blue Crew who left in early May.
Alabama joined a small group, alongside the USS Alaska (SSBN 732) and USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730), as the third Ohio-class submarine to complete this milestone.
“100 patrols testify to its longevity and the success of the fleet. 100 Patrol is pretty rare, ”said Josh Jones, chief electronics technician (navigation), assistant navigator.
“The submarine is the ultimate team sport. The efforts to obtain crew certification, the ship buttoned up for sea, and the ability to stay at sea on an unusually arduous patrol are testament to the caliber of Sailor volunteering for submarine service. Responding to the call repeatedly to handle the nation’s watch bill would not be possible without the dedication of every sailor on board, ”said Alabama Blue Crew Commander, Cmdr. Brian Murphy.
Along the way, the ship has hosted over 480 midshipmen from various schools and programs such as midshipman vocational training, midshipman career counseling and Pacific submarine midshipman development.
“It’s always a great opportunity to share with future leaders of the Navy what submarines do and why we are so important to the defense of the nation,” said Murphy.
Along the way, Alabama took a second milestone by celebrating its 36th anniversary since it entered service on May 25, 1985.
“Keeping our SSBNs combat-ready takes more time and resources than in the past, which has forced ships to stay at sea longer while repairs are made on our sister ships. For example, the 100th Alabama Patrol lasted 132 days, the 4th longest strategic deterrent patrol in the history of the Ohio-class SSBN force, ”Murphy said.
The Alabama is one of eight Ohio-class guided-missile submarines docked at Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base and the seventh US Navy ship to bear that name. The class is designed for prolonged and undetectable deterrence patrols and as a launch pad for intercontinental ballistic missiles.