Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kings Bay Subs Now All aboard Last of 10 Tridents Sails into the Fold

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kings Bay Subs Now All aboard Last of 10 Tridents Sails into the Fold

Article excerpt

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE -- While Navy officials waited

in a tugboat off the coast of Amelia Island to greet the USS

Louisiana yesterday, a pod of dolphins playfully bobbed in the

water nearby.

"That's a good sign," said Lt. Cmdr. Rob Raine, a public

affairs officer at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. "When

dolphins come out to greet a submarine, that's about as good as

it gets. Dolphins are a symbol of submarines throughout the

Western world."

The arrival of the Louisiana at Kings Bay completes a mandate

by Congress to build a fleet of Trident II submarines as a

deterrent to nuclear war. Ten of the 570-foot-long, 18,000-ton

vessels are based at Kings Bay, and the remainder of the fleet

is based in Bangor, Wash.

About a dozen sailors were on the deck of the Louisiana, as

three tugboats guided the submarine to its new Southeast Georgia

home. Below deck, the vessel ran so quietly that the loudest

noise came from air ducts, as the remaining members of the

168-man crew performed their duties.

Each Trident II submarine has two crews who alternate

patrols in the Atlantic, Navy officials said. While one crew is

at sea, the other undergoes training and takes leave time.

Matt Hostetlar, a petty officer second class, described the

atmosphere below as "emotionally charged."

"It's the beginning of an era," Hostetlar said.

Master Chief Jerry Bovair said about 70 percent of the

sailors assigned to the submarine had never been stationed at

Kings Bay before.

"A lot of these guys are looking forward to this," Bovair

said of their arrival at Kings Bay.

As the Louisiana docked, family members waving signs welcomed

the sailors to their new home, while a band played Dixieland

music.

Capt. Wilbur Cooke said he was surprised at the reception as

his submarine docked. …

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