The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia (SSGN 729) returned to its homeport of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, Sep. 22, for the first time in 790 days. During the forward-deployment, the crew supported U.S. Africa, Central and European Combatant Commands. It included transits through the Straits of Sicily, Straits of Gibraltar, Straits of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. Rear Adm. Thomas R. “TR” Buchanan, commander of Submarine Group Ten, recognized the hard work it took to keep the ship out for such an extended period of time. While forward deployed, the ship sailed more than 100,000 nautical miles, which is the equivalent to traveling more than four times around the world, with stops in Souda Bay, Greece, Gibraltar, Oman, Diego Garcia, Faslane, Scotland, and Bahrain.
“We ask a tremendous amount out of our submariners who forward deploy and operate for months away for home. Georgia has been doing the Nation’s business for 790 days. It is with great pride we welcome them back to their homeport after a job exceptionally well done,” said Thomas R. “TR” Buchanan.
Although the ship itself hasn’t returned to its homeport in more than two years, Georgia has two assigned crews, Blue and Gold that alternate manning the submarine. In the past nearly 800 days, the crews performed four exchanges of command. While one crew deploys with the ship for a four to six-month period, the other returns to Kings Bay and conducts training at Trident Training Facility. The training program includes various simulated missions and scenarios. This training regimen ensures the crew remains tactically and operationally ready. Georgia and all SSGNs provide the U.S. Navy with one of the most versatile and clandestine platforms in the fleet.
They are equipped with superior communications capabilities and can carry up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles. The platform can also be configured to host up to 66 Special Operation Force personnel. Georgia was converted from a trident ballistic-missile submarine in December 2007. The SSGN conversion program produced transformational capability on a time-compressed schedule. Georgia is one of four guided-missile submarines in the U.S. Navy’s fleet, and comprises half of the guided-missile submarine force in Kings Bay. The base is home to all East Coast Ohio-class submarines to include five ballistic-missile and two guided-missile submarines.