USS Georgia SSGN-729 (1979-Current)
The USS Georgia is an Ohio-class submarine and is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the fourth state. Her contract was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics out of Gorton, Connecticut in February of 1976. Her keel was laid down in 1979 and she was first launched on November 6, 1982. She was commissioned as a fleet ballistic missile submarine in 1984 with Captain A. W. Kuester commanding the Blue Crew and Captain M. P. Gray commanding the Gold Crew. Later on Georgia was converted as a guided missile submarine so that she could carry guided cruise missiles instead of her original fleet ballistic missiles.
Georgia’s shakedown cruise and test launching of a Trident C-4 missile occurred between March and April of 1984. In November of that same year she arrived at her home port located in Bangor, Washington. Georgia’s first strategic deterrence patrol began in January 1985 where she was an element of Task Unit 14.7.1. In 1986 Georgia collided with the Secota following a personnel transfer. The Secota sank, and although ten crewmen were rescued, unfortunately, two drowned. Georgia remained undamaged throughout the incident. On October 30, 2003, Georgia returned from her 65th and final deterrent patrol.
In March of 2005, Georgia was placed in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a scheduled Engineered Refueling Overhaul, with a SSGN conversion taking place concurrently. With her conversion and refitting work completed in February 2008, Georgia was able to move to her new home port in Kings Bay, Georgia. Beginning in August 2009 Georgia was put on her first SSGN deployment, and in the following year she attained Squadron Sixteen battle efficiency “E.” Georgia has received several awards including the Comsubron Seventeen Battle Efficiency Award and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
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.