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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Nevada Blue Crew Completes First Post-Overhaul Patrol

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110713-01
7/13/2011

By Lt. Brandon Soule, USS Nevada Public Affairs

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Trident ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) and its Blue Crew returned to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor July 3, capping Nevada's first strategic deterrent patrol following a two-year refueling overhaul.

"I am extremely proud of the crew in completing all strategic certifications in the last 12 months and taking the ship to sea for her first strategic patrol in nearly four years," said Cmdr. Alan Schrader, Blue Crew's commanding officer.

"It is through the crew's hard work that we completed all tasking," Schrader continued. "Taking a ship out of refueling overhaul and back to the strategic front lines in the strict timeline required by U.S. Strategic Command was a great accomplishment for both crews and family members of Nevada. It is great to be back as a strategic asset."

Sailors' families were on hand to greet Nevada as it arrived, with Amanda Voelker receiving the traditional first kiss from her husband, Lt. Nathan Voelker.

During Nevada's 56 days underway, a total of 56 Blue Crew Sailors earned the SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia, marking their first deterrent patrol. The crew honored the awardees on the pier with a pinning ceremony during which each was pinned by a representative of his leadership team.

Nevada also qualified 10 Blue Crew Sailors – two officers and eight enlisted – as submariners, giving them the honor of wearing the traditional "dolphins."

"Sailors on their first submarine assignment spend a significant amount of time learning the complex systems onboard the submarine," said Lt. Cmdr. J.W. Hale, Blue Crew's executive officer. "Their final qualification as a submariner is a significant career achievement that each Sailor can be very proud of. Working with these motivated and intelligent Sailors is the best part of serving as their XO."

Nevada underwent an engineered refueling overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility from February 2008 to July 2010. The overhaul included a refueling of the ship's reactor, extending Nevada's service for 20 more years.

After emerging from the shipyard, Nevada underwent several months of post-refueling overhaul certifications, capped by the successful test launch of a Trident II D5 missile during demonstration and shakedown operations off the coast of Southern California in March.

"Our Sailors' dedication and perseverance allowed us to successfully complete every challenge and milestone placed in front of us to get USS Nevada back on the front lines as a strategic asset," said Command Master Chief(SS) and Chief of the Boat Matt Tresch. "Our Sailors' sacrifice would not have been possible if not for the support of our families and friends. It has been a complete team effort from both Blue and Gold crews, our family support groups, and the entire Pacific northwest Navy team."

Nevada is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, providing the survivable leg of the nation's strategic deterrent forces.



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