USS Maryland (SSBN-738): Wikis

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USS Maryland (SSBN-738)
USS Maryland (SSBN-738), probably during her sea trials off the United States East Coast in the summer of 1991.
Career (US)
Name: USS Maryland
Namesake: The State of Maryland
Ordered: 14 March 1986
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 22 April 1986
Launched: 10 August 1991
Sponsored by: Sarah "Sally" Craig Larson
Commissioned: 13 June 1992
Homeport: Kings Bay, Georgia
Motto: Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam
("Fear Only God and Dishonor")
Nickname: "Fighting Mary"[1]
Status: in active service, as of 2010
Badge: 738insig.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 16,764 metric tons (16,499 long tons) surfaced[2][3]
18,750 metric tons (18,450 long tons) submerged[2]
Length: 170.69 meters (560 feet)
Beam: 42 ft (13 m)[2]
Draft: 11.5 meters (38 ft)
Propulsion: 1xS8G PWR nuclear reactor[2]
2x geared turbines[2]
1x325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
1 shaft @ 60,000 shp (45 MW)[2]
Speed: 25+ knots (46+ km/h)[4]
Test depth: 243.8+ meters (800+ ft)[5]
Complement: 15 officers[2][3]
140 enlisted[2][3]
Armament:

MK-48 torpedoes

24 × Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles

USS Maryland (SSBN-738) is the 13th of 18 United States Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, and has been commissioned since 1992. She is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named Maryland.

USS Maryland's mission is to provide the United States of America with an undetectable and unattackable nuclear launch platform in support of the national strategy of strategic deterrence. [6]

Contents

Construction and commissioning

The contract for the construction of Maryland was awarded on 14 March 1986. Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation at Groton, Connecticut, on 22 April 1986.

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Christening ceremony and launching

Maryland was christened and launched in a ceremony on 10 August 1991 at the Electric Boat shipyard. The program opened with the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" performed by the United States Navy Band Northeast, led by Chief Musician Steven R. Rawson. Mr. Roger E. Tetrault, Vice President and General Manager of Electric Boat Division, then gave welcoming remarks. Mr. James E. Turner, Jr., Executive Vice President of Marine, Land Systems and Services, General Dynamics Corporation, also gave prepared remarks for the occasion. The Director of the Maryland Veterans Commission, Mr. Clarence M. Bacon, greeted guests and crew, then turned over the podium to Vice Admiral Kenneth C. Malley, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. Vice Admiral Henry G. Chiles, Jr., Commander Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet, introduced the principal speaker, The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley U.S. Representative for Maryland's Second Congressional District. Mr. James E. Turner Jr. then returned to the podium to introduce the sponsor, Sarah "Sally" Craig Larson. After a short blessing of the ship by Captain A. Byron Holderby, Ms. Larson, along with Matron of Honor Kirsten L. Datko and Maid of Honor Erica L. Larson, christened pre-commissioning unit Maryland, and Maryland was launched.

Commissioning

On 13 June 1992, Maryland was formally commissioned into U.S. Naval service as USS Maryland, with Captain John W. Francis in command of the Blue crew and Captain Harold E. Marshall in command of the Gold crew. [7] The principal speaker was Admiral Charles R. Larson, Commander-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Command.

At this point the Blue crew retained the ship for shakedown operations, while the Gold crew departed to King's Bay, Georgia to start their offcrew training cycle.

Service history

USS Maryland departed Groton for King's Bay on 15 June 1992 and immediately started preparation for strategic certification, with the Blue crew achieving a successful test launch on 29 Jul 1992, and starting Trident D-5 missile Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASO) on 7 July 1992. [7]

The first exchange of command occurred on 4 September 1992, with the Gold crew taking charge of USS Maryland, and completing their phase of DASO on 22 October 1992. Various other inspections and training exercises were conducted throughout 1992. [7]

The Blue crew relieved the Gold crew 26 January 1993 and continued with preparations for strategic certification. USS Maryland returned to Groton on 30 January 1993 for post-shakedown maintenance prior to assuming responsibility for strategic deterrent patrols. Maryland returned to King's Bay on 9 April 1993. [8]

USS Maryland completed various weapons and tactical certifications and then returned to King's Bay on 4 May 1993 to join Submarine Squadron 20 (SUBRON 20) and commence preparations for the first strategic deterrent patrol. The initial loadout of Trident D-5 missiles was completed at this point. [8]

The Gold crew relieved the Blue crew 7 May 1993 and continued the refit. On 19 June 1993 USS Maryland went underway on her first strategic deterrent patrol, which started her strategic patrol cycle. [8]

Grounding

On 24 September 1993, USS Maryland ran aground at Port Canaveral, Florida, after conducting a medical evacuation of an ill crew member, and returned to King's Bay to inspect for damage. Damage was minimal, and the investigation found that the crew was not responsible. Maryland resumed its second deterrent patrol on the 26th. [8]

Servicemember Deaths

On 5 May 2002, ETC(SS) LeRoy W. Young died of a heart attack while deployed with USS Maryland. His funeral was held while Maryland was in port, 12 May 2002, and the ship resumed its patrol shortly afterwards.[9]

Trident Missile Testing

USS Maryland has been involved in several Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Tests (FCET) of its Trident D-5 missile system. The FCET launches a specially modified missile without a nuclear payload, and is used to test the performance of the Trident missile system.

  • FCET 10, performed 3 January 1994. 4 missiles launched. [10][11]
  • FCET 14, performed 21 April 1996. 2 missiles launched. [10][12]
  • FCET 21, performed 26 April 1999. 2 missiles launched. [13][10]
  • FCET 30, performed 5 November 2003. 2 missiles launched. [10]
  • FCET 36, performed 21 November 2006. 2 missiles launched. [10]

Live Fire Exercise

On 16 October 2001, USS Maryland joined the USS John F. Kennedy Battle Group in an exercise that resulted in the sinking of ex-USS Guam. Maryland fired one Mark 48 torpedo during the exercise, which finally sunk ex-USS Guam.[14][15]

Awards

A sailor holds up a trophy in front of a formation of sailors
2008 Omaha Trophy presented to the USS Maryland Blue and Gold crews.

USS Maryland has been the recipient of many awards, including the following:

  • 1995 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[12]
  • 1997 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[12]
  • 2001 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (Blue crew).[14][16]
  • 2002 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[9][17]
  • 2003 Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial award (for outstanding food service) (Gold crew).[18]
  • 2004 Submarine Squadron 16 Battle "E" award (both crews).[19]
  • 2005 Chief of Naval Operations Afloat Safety award (Blue crew).[20]
  • 2008 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[21]
  • 2008 Omaha Trophy winner (both crews). This prestigious award is given to the strategic command with the highest performance standards.[1]
  • 2009 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[22]

Current Service

USS Maryland is currently part of both Submarine Squadron 20 (itself part of United States Fleet Forces Command) and the United States Strategic Command, with her home port at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

Symbology of the USS Maryland insignia

Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the U.S. Navy. The arms of Maryland hail the state's historical roots, while the submarine indicates the present-day USS Maryland is an Ohio-class submarine. The trident represents U.S. Navy weaponry and sea prowess; its bottom spike points to the ocean depths, the area of operations of USS Maryland. The heraldic dolphins symbolize speed, intelligence, and the ability to penetrate the deep. The wreath of laurel is emblematic of excellence and accomplishment; its seven stars commemorate both the seven battle stars battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) earned in World War II and that the state of Maryland was the seventh state to be admitted to the Union.

Seal

The coat of arms is emblazoned upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with gold rope and is inscribed in gold letters with the words "USS Maryland" above and "SSBN-738" below.

Blazon

The shield features the arms of the state of Maryland, which are historically derived from the quartered arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. Its main color is blue, highlighted with silver. Beneath the shield is a scroll in blue, displaying the motto Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam ("Fear Only God and Dishonor") inscribed in gold letters. This is all superimposed upon a trident wreathed in laurel decorated with seven stars. The trident's bottom spike is flanked by two dolphins.

USS Maryland in fiction

Notes

References

External Links


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