Alabama’s namesake ship, USS Alabama, returns to homeport

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Alabama’s namesake ship, the the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731) transited the Hood Canal on Friday, as the returned to its homeport at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a routine strategic deterrent patrol.

SSBN 731_USS Alabama

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alabama transits the Hood Canal as the boat returns to its homeport at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. [Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray | Released]

Alabama is one of eight ballistic-missile submarines stationed at the base, providing the most survivable leg of the strategic deterrence triad —the nuclear weapons delivery of a strategic nuclear arsenal consisting of three components: land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles — for the United States.

According to the U.S. Navy, “nuclear deterrence is about influencing the decision not to use nuclear weapons or deterring coercion through the threat to use nuclear weapons.”

“The SSBN force represents the most survivable leg of the triad, “said Gen. Kehler in a 2013 speech. SSBNs that are underway in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans remain undetected and increasingly comprise the largest concentration of our deployed warheads.”

Commissioned in 1985 and slated to remain in service through 2027, the USS Alabama operates as part of Submarine Squadron 17.

While stationed over 40 hours away from its name-state, the USS Alabama crew holds the Yellowhammer State in high regard. In 2015, the crew posted of the video giving a special shout-out to the University of Alabama football program.

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