BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- The Blue and Gold crews of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) celebrated the ship's 30th anniversary with a ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Aug. 12.
With this milestone, Nevada became the fourth active Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and the third based in Bangor to go beyond its originally planned 30-year service life.
"The age of the ship really makes our Sailors more important than ever," said Cmdr. Gene Severtson, commanding officer of Nevada Gold. "The hard work of Nevada's Sailors for the last 30 years has kept the ship in great material condition that lets us keep going out on patrol for months at a time."
Current Ohio-class SSBNs are reaching the end of their life cycle. When Nevada was commissioned Aug. 16, 1986, it had an anticipated service life of 30 years. However, the Ohio-class submarines lifetime has been extended from 30 to 42 years.
USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730) was the first of the Ohio-class to reach this service milestone in 2014, with USS Alabama (SSBN 731) following in 2015.
"Quite frankly, this could have been a decommissioning ceremony," said Rear Adm. John Tammen, commander of Submarine Group 9 who also served aboard Nevada early in his career. "Fortunately for the Navy and the country, our crews and maintenance teams have taken great care of the SSBN force over the years and today is a celebration of the next 12 years to come."
The Navy's top priority is to ensure the most survivable leg of our nation's strategic nuclear triad remains fully resourced and ready through the existing SSBN force and continued development of the Ohio Replacement Program.
"We understand how important it is to keep accomplishing the strategic deterrent mission with this ship," said Severtson. "The next generation of SSBNs are still in development and will not be in service until 2031. Now more than ever, it is imperative we keep this national treasure up and operating for the next 12 years."
The celebration was sponsored by the Reno Navy League, who has been an ardent supporter of the ship since its commissioning.
"Over the last 30 years, they have come to every change of command and sponsored us on namesake visits," said Severtson. "We're thankful that they continue to provide us with a great connection to the state of Nevada."
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For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg9/.