The Blue and Gold crews of USS Alabama (SSBN 731) celebrated the ship’s 30th anniversary with a small ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor on May 22.
With this milestone, Alabama becomes the second active Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine to go beyond its originally planned 30-year service life.
Cmdr. Paul Reinhardt, Alabama Blue crew commanding officer, said:
Today was originally supposed to be our decommissioning date. Due to the Ohio-class submarine replacement remaining in development, Alabama has been extended for another 12 years, so she’ll now be in commission for 42 years.
When Alabama was commissioned May 25, 1985, it had an anticipated service life of 30 years. However, in 1990, after an exhaustive engineering analysis, Navy leadership decided to extend the total service life of the Ohio-class SSBNs to 42 years.
USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730) was the first Ohio-class SSBN to reach the 30-year service milestone last fall, with Alabama being the second. The rest of the class is expected to follow in the coming years.
Image: US Navy