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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

SSBN 739 Nebraska
"Go Big Red!"

The submarine NEBRASKA (SSBN-739) is the second U.S. Naval ship to be named in honor of the 37th state of the Union. The contract to build to the Nebraska was awarded on May 26, 1987 to General Dynamics. The keel was laid on July 6, 1987 and she was launced roughly five years later on August 15, 1992. The Nebraska was delivered to the Navy on June 18, 1993 and was commissioned on July 10, 1993.

USS NEBRASKA development was based on extensive considerations of all aspects of survivability and capabilities required in a seabased deterrent platform designed for operations through the next century. USS NEBRASKA incorporates the new, more quiet machinery that cannot be installed in other fleet ballistic missile submarines because of space and weight constraints. It has an advanced sonar system, comparable to that developed for the United States Navy's newest attack submarines. This sonar suite is capable of providing long-range detection and a more effective capabilities for tracking other ships or submarines.

Key features of USS NEBRASKA include: improved maintainability, reliability, and availability resulting from modular replacement concepts of major equipment, improved design and incorporation of integrated logistics support.

USS NEBRASKA has additional growth potential to accommodate future technology as it becomes available, both in ship systems and in larger missiles. High patrol speeds will greatly increase ocean operating area, providing the ability to avoid potential enemies, thus enhancing survivability.

On 28 May 1994 the Nebraska completed her first strategic on-load and departed for her first strategic patrol on 26 June 1994.

USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) (Blue) conducted its 12th strategic deterrent patrol from June to October 1997. The submarine was commissioned in July 1993. During Patrol 12, the submarine transited more than 16,800 miles, crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and navigating the Mediterranean Sea to her mid-patrol destination of the Greek island of Crete. The submarine had been at sea nearly two months, and had patrolled thousands of miles of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, when she surfaced to enter her destination and liberty port, Souda Bay, Crete.

During a ceremony held Feb. 5, 1998, in the Trident Refit Facility drydock, both the Blue and Gold crews of USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) received the Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) from Rear Adm. Joseph Henry, commander of Submarine Group 10, and Capt. Tom Digan, commodore of Submarine Squadron 16. During a ceremony held Jan 12, 1999, at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, both the Blue and Gold crews of USS Nebraska were awarded the 1998 Commander Submarine Squadron 16 Battle Efficiency "E." Rear Adm. Joseph Henry, Commander of Submarine Group 10, was the awarding official. Capt. Tom Digan, Commander of Submarine Squadron 16, was also in attendance.

The Navy announced on October 20, 2003 that USS Nebraska, assigned to Submarine Group 10 at Kings Bay, would transfer to Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Bangor, Wash., effective Oct. 1, 2004.

Details of Nebraska's move are pending.

Shield & Crest

The shield features a blue and white globe combined with a submarine to make up the Trident silhouette superimposed within an arrowhead. Its main color is red highlighted with a gold trident spear. Supporting the shield on either side are two corn stalks interlaced with a scroll in blue, displaying the motto "Defensor Pacis," or Defender of Peace-inscribed in white letters.

Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the U.S. Navy. Red is emblematic of valor and action while gold stands for excellence and high achievement. The shield simulates an arrowhead and recalls Nebraska's heritage (Nebraska is the Indian word for the state's major river, the Platte).

The submarine silhouette and globe depict the world-wide mission of the USS Nebraska.

The trident symbolizes sea prowess and naval weaponry. Its spike indicates the "depths," emphasizing a submarine's capabilities and theatre of operations. The cornstalks refer to Nebraska's official nickname, the "Cornhusker State," highlighting the designation of SSBN 739.

The coat of arms is emblazoned upon a white background and enclosed within a dark blue oval band edged in red on the inside and with a gold rope on the outside, bearing two gold stars of excellence on either side and inscribed "USS NEBRASKA" at the top and "SSBN 739" at the bottom in white.

BB 14

The first NEBRASKA (BB-14), a battleship launched in 1904, was commissioned in July, 1907. Ten months later, it joined the famed "Great White Fleet" of battleships and departed San Francisco for various locations including Hawaii, Australia, the Philippines, Japan and Egypt.

NEBRASKA continued with the Fleet on its round-the-globe tour through Italy and Gibraltar, arriving back in the United States in February, 1909, passing in review before President Theodore Roosevelt as the battleships entered Hampton Roads.

Serving with the Atlantic Fleet, NEBRASKA later earned the Mexican Service Medal for operations at Vera Cruz during 1914 and 1916. Once war had been declared in April, 1917, NEBRASKA operated along the east coast in training missions and battle practice.

In September, 1918, the battleship began a series of three convoy voyages in the Atlantic, before preparing to transport American troops returning from France. Between December, 1918 and June, 1919, NEBRASKA made four voyages to France transporting a total of 4,540 troops to and from the United States. Foreign veterans were carried back to France on the final voyage.

Following transport duty, NEBRASKA joined the Pacific Fleet and participated in operations along the West Coast until being decommissioned in July, 1920.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 24-07-2011 03:41:05 ZULU