USS Kentucky (SSBN-737)


USS Kentucky (SSBN-737)

USS "Kentucky" (SSBN-737), an "Ohio"-class ballistic missile submarine, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 15th state.

The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 13 August 1985 and her keel was laid down on 18 December 1987. She was launched on 11 August 1990 sponsored by Mrs. Larry J. Hopkins, and commissioned on 13 July 1991, with Captain Michael G. Riegel commanding the Blue Crew and Captain Joseph Henry commanding the Gold Crew.

On 19 March 1998 south of Long Island, New York, "Kentucky" collided with "San Juan" (SSN-751). The Kentucky's rudder was damaged; the San Juan's forward ballast tank was breached, but the ship was able to surface and return to port. No personnel suffered any injuries. The two submarines were conducting a joint training drill prior to deployment at the time.

SSBN-737 is the third ship named in honor of Kentucky (see USS "Kentucky" for other ships of the same name).

She has a length of 560 feet, hull diameter of 42 feet and draft of 36.2 feet with an 18,700 ton displacement when submerged. Her normal complement consists of 15 officers and 170 enlisted sailors.

Commanding Officers

*Blue Crew
**Captain Michael G. Riegel, August 1989 - July 1992
**Captain Robert D. Rish, July 1992 - September 1994
**Captain Richard R. Stark, September 1994 - March 1997
**Commander Roy H. Harkins, March 1997 - June 1999
**Commander Patrick S. Seidel, June 1999 - February 2001
**Commander Ronald W. Malampy, February 2001 - March 2004
**Commander Paul A. Skarpness, March 2004 - September 2006
**Commander Alan W. Holt II, September 2006 -
*Gold Crew
**Captain Joseph G. Henry, July 1991 - December 1992
**Captain William W. Schmidt, December 1992 - June 1994
**Captain William E. Cook, June 1994 - October 1996
**Commander Timothy M. Giardina, October 1996 - January 1999
**Commander Michael W. McKinnon, January 1999 - July 2001
**Commander Christopher J. Kelly, July 2001 - June 2004
**Commander Jeffrey S. Coran, June 2004 - July 2007
**Commander Benjamin J. Pearson III, July 2007 -

Awards and Honours

* She was christened by Carolyn Pennebaker Hopkins with a custom blend of Kentucky bourbon, mixed for the occasion, as opposed to the traditional bottle of champagne.
* The 2001 and 2002 Submarine Afloat Galley First place winner in the Atlantic Fleet of the Navy Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award for outstanding food service in the Navy was the USS Kentucky (SSBN-737)(Gold). The Gold crew was also awarded a Ney Honorable Mention for 2007.
*In 2005, both the Blue and Gold crews were appointed Kentucky Colonels by Governor Ernie Fletcher.
*The ship was awarded the Battle E for Submarine Squadron 17 for 2006.

References

*NVR|http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/details/SSBN737.htm
* "Welcome Aboard", pamphlet provided to tour visitors.


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