The USS Oklahoma City, a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine, is
a ship Oklahoma City can be proud of, and the city is one which the
crew of the ship is proud to represent, Cmdr. Kevin J. Reardon,
commanding officer of the ship, said during a visit to Oklahoma City
In previous visits to the city, Reardon related how a special
bond has been developing between the citizens of Oklahoma City and
the crew of the ship, which was launched Nov. 2, 1985, placed in
active duty during December 1987 and tentatively scheduled for
commissioning May 21. Norfolk, Va., will be the home port for the
During his visit this week, Reardon said the USS Oklahoma City
has done an exceptional job in sea trials, which are nearly finished.
"It operates beautifully," he said. "It's a fine ship. It's a
pleasure to see a ship that we've been working with for so long
being put to the test."
During sea trials, the sub's propulsion plant is fully tested
above and below water and the ship's mechanical and electronic
operations are pushed to the limit. The sub's maximum speed, Reardon
said, is in excess of 20 knots (more than 20 miles per hour),
although its exact full speed is classified.
"It performed exceptionally well and has been ahead of schedule
(on its sea trials)," Reardon said.
The USS Oklahoma City is one of 37 Los Angeles-class subs, all
but one of which are named after cities. The naming of a ship after
a city is an exclusive honor, Reardon said.
The submarine is not the first ship to bear the city's name, nor
is this the first time Oklahomans have expressed their overwhelming
support for the Navy.
A cruiser during World War II was named the Oklahoma City and
was used during the Korean War, 1960s and 1970s before being
mothballed and later dismantled.
During World War II, Reardon said, the people of Oklahoma, in a
single day, bought enough war bonds to pay for the cost of
constructing and outfitting the cruiser.
"We have learned over the past year that there's a deep Navy
commitment in Oklahoma City," he said.
Nearly all of the crew members of the ship have visited Oklahoma
City during the past year, and all of them go back to the ship
telling what a great time they had in the city, Reardon said.
About 15 crew members accompanied Reardon on his visit to
Oklahoma City this week, about 10 of whom had visited the city at
least once previously.
The crew members' visits to schools have been particularly
"They (school children) know there is a sub named `Oklahoma
City.' To see that kind of enthusiasm with the children really
boosts the crew's morale," Reardon said. "They know it's not just a
steel hull they're working in."
Local civic leaders especially have become involved with the
ship, and an Oklahoma City Navy has been formed to support the ship
and the Navy.
A reception to enlist members into the Oklahoma City Navy was
held Tuesday at the Kirkpatrick Center. Special ranks and
privileges are bestowed on those who join by contributing to the
Oklahoma City Navy. …