USS City of Corpus Christi
The USS City of Corpus Christi is a Los Angeles-class submarine. Also known as LA class or the 688 class, these particular submarines are a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that form the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. The Los Angeles class is the most numerous nuclear powered submarine class in the world, and has speeds of over 25 knots.
The USS City of Corpus Christi is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named after Corpus Christi, Texas. However, she is the only one required to bear the “City of” prefix due to controversy surrounding a war ship being named “the body of Christ,” which is the meaning of the Latin phrase “Corpus Christi.” Her contract was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation located in Groton, Connecticut. Her keel was laid down on September 4, 1979 and she was first launched on April 25, 1981, sponsored by Mrs. John Tower. The USS City of Corpus Christi was commissioned on January 8, 1983 with Commander W.G. “Jerry” Ellis in command. The USS City of Corpus Christi is still in commission today, and her current captain is Commander Robert M. Gaucher.
The submarine’s current homeport is listed as Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where the vessel will be assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron 7. While transitioning from their previous location in Guam, the crew of the USS City of Corpus Christi was able to participate in a time-honored Nay tradition known as “crossing the line.” “Crossing the line” refers to a unique ceremony when a submarine crosses the equator and the International Date Line simultaneously. By doing so the submarine’s crew qualifies as “Golden Shellbacks.”
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially throughout conflicts of the last century, submarines also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. However, these risks extend beyond the inherent dangers that existed while operating the vessels during military conflicts. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were also common aboard submarines because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Furthermore, the enclosed environment of submarines put servicemen at an even higher risk of exposure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with or served on submarines should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.