Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

USS Louisiana Unveiled Sub Now Calls Kings Bay Home

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

USS Louisiana Unveiled Sub Now Calls Kings Bay Home

Article excerpt

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, Ga. -- With the pomp of a

tradition-bound military gala and the down-home zest of a Cajun

crawfish boil, the Navy yesterday brought to life its final

nuclear-missile submarine, the USS Louisiana.

At the start of the ceremony to commission the ship, a Navy

chaplain called for a moment of silent prayer for the late

Mother Teresa and Princess Diana, who was buried yesterday.

Though perhaps not immediately evident, said the chaplain, Lt.

Donald Troast, a comparison can be drawn between the sailors on

one of the world's deadliest warships and Princess Diana and

Mother Teresa.

"The crews of this ship also are humanitarians, not lovers of

war, but keepers of the peace. So, you see, there is a

connection," Troast said. He asked God to guide the crew so

others like Diana and Mother Teresa have the freedom to continue

their work.

Before 4,000 invited guests and VIPs, Navy leaders praised

the Trident missile submarine as a hero of the Cold War, a

powerful deterrent that helped guarantee world peace.

The Louisiana is the 10th and final submarine to be

homeported at Kings Bay.

Locked out of the ceremony, peace activists outside the main

gate viewed the Navy's 18th ballistic missile submarine as a

monument to an overzealous nuclear arms policy and "a huge waste

of taxpayers' monies."

John Linnehan, co-founder of the Metonoia Peace Community,

said comparing the crew of a nuclear-missile submarine to

somebody like Mother Teresa or Princess Diana is "really

stretching it."

"Those people were concerned with serving the poor. Nuclear

weapons are to impose the will of this country, ultimately at

any cost. I don't see the comparison at all," said Linnehan, who

led the protest of about 25 people.

Regardless of where one stood, yesterday's commissioning

ceremony -- 221 years to the day after the first submarine was

used in combat -- marked an end to the expansion of the Trident

force. In fact, the number of ballistic missile submarines is

programmed to shrink in the near future. …

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