USS Georgia (SSGN-729): a closer look at general characteristics and its operational excellence

Designed in 1979 by General Dynamics, the USS Georgia (SSBN-729/SSGN-729) is an Ohio-class submarine. Having been launched in 1982, the fleet ballistic missile submarine started to function in 1984. Despite mishaps during its service, the USS Georgia was praised for its strong weapons. It was an essential part of strategic deterrence patrols.

The second U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name of the state of Georgia is the Ohio-class submarine USS Georgia (SSBN-729/SSGN-729). On February 20, 1976, the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, was given the contract to construct it. The construction of the submarine began on April 7, 1979, when the keel was set down.

Mrs. Sheila M. Watkins was the sponsor of the USS Georgia, which was launched on November 6, 1982. On February 11, 1984, it was subsequently put into service as a fleet ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). The Gold crew, led by Captain M. P. Grey, and the Blue crew, led by Captain A. W. Kuester, were essential to the submarine’s operational readiness. Since then, the USS Georgia has functioned in a variety of ways as a component of the country’s defence policy, bearing witness to the Navy’s dedication to state-named vessels.

General Characteristics:

The submarine USS Georgia (SSGN-729) is a member of the Ohio class and is known for its powerful capabilities. Its displacement, when above the surface, is 16,764 long tonnes (17,033 t), and when below the surface, it rises to 18,750 long tonnes (19,050 t). With a length of an astounding 560 feet (170 metres), the submarine has a beam of 42 feet (13 metres) and a draft of 38 feet (12 metres).

One S8G PWR nuclear reactor, enriched with 93.5 per cent highly enriched uranium (HEU), powers the Ohio-class submarine. Two geared turbines, a 325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor, and a shaft producing 60,000 hp (45,000 kW) make up its propulsion system. With this arrangement, the USS Georgia can reach test depths of more than 800 feet (240 metres) and speeds of more than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph).

The submarine can carry an additional crew of fifteen officers and one hundred and forty enlisted people. Its armament, which consists of four 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes and an amazing 154 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles organised into 22 groups of seven, is very strong. This powerful weaponry, power, and size combination highlights the strategic importance of the USS Georgia in the Ohio-class submarine fleet.

Operational History as a Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine:

On April 7, 1986, the USS Georgia (SSGN-729) successfully launched a Trident C-4 missile on the Eastern Test Range during a shakedown cruise, marking the beginning of the vessel’s operational existence. Following that, it sailed to its home port of Bangor, Washington, in November 1984. The USS Georgia set out on its maiden strategic deterrence patrol in January 1985. A Meritorious Unit Commendation was given to the submarine in recognition of its contributions to Task Unit 14.7.1 from September 1983 to May 1986. For its submarine operations from February to August of 1986, the vessel was awarded a second Meritorious Unit Commendation.

On March 22, 1986, the USS Georgia and the harbour tug USS Secota (YTM-415) were involved in an incident that happened three miles south of Midway Island. Secota lost power after a personnel transfer, hit the Georgia, and sank in two minutes. Although Lt. Cmdr. John Carman first claimed that there was no damage to the Georgia, a later report revealed that there were minor damages that required emergency repairs.

The Comsubron Seventeen Battle Efficiency Award for 2001 was presented to the Gold crew of the USS Georgia in appreciation of their achievements. However her service went beyond awards; on October 30, 2003, she completed her 65th and last deterrent patrol.

An incident occurred on November 7, 2003, while the ship was docked in Bangor, Washington, during the dumping of C-4 Trident I missiles. A ladder left in the tube during hoisting resulted in an unintentional nine-inch hole carved into the missile’s nose cone during the procedure. Three enlisted soldiers faced a court-martial although no radioactive material was discharged. Following an inspection, the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific was closed, and Captain Keith Lyles, the facility’s commanding officer, and several other important officers were dismissed. With a new commanding officer, the facility reopened on January 9, 2004, and the crew of the USS Georgia was unaffected by these developments.