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USS Alabama (SSBN 731)

USS ALABAMA is the sixth TRIDENT class nuclear powered Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine, and the fifth United States ship to bear the name of the state.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: October 14, 1980
Launched: May 19, 1984
Commissioned: May 25, 1985
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, Groton, Conn.
Propulsion system: one nuclear reactor
Propellers: one
Length: 560 feet (171 meters)
Beam: 42 feet (12.8 meters)
Draft: 36,5 feet (11.1 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 16,765 tons   Submerged: approx. 18,750 tons
Speed: 20+ knots
Armament: 24 tubes for Trident I and II, Mk-48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes
Homeport: Bangor, Wash.
Crew: 17 Officers, 15 Chief Petty Officers and 122 Enlisted (2 crews)

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS ALABAMA. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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History of USS ALABAMA:

The keel was laid 14 October 1980, and the crew was formed in July 1983. On 19 May 1984, Mrs. Barbara Dickinson, wife of The Honorable William L. Dickinson, United States Representative from Alabama, christened ALABAMA during launching ceremonies held in Groton, Connecticut.

Builders Sea Trials were conducted between February and April 1985. Each sea trial set a record for efficiency and the ship was delivered sixty-eight days early.

On 25 May 1985, USS ALABAMA was commissioned at Naval Underwater Systems Center, New London, Connecticut. Vice Admiral B. M. Kauderer, USN, was the Commissioning Officer. The principal speakers included Congressman Dickinson; The Honorable Jeremiah Denton, United States Senator from Alabama; Admiral Kinnaird R. McKee, USN; and Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.), a native Alabamian and former Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The ship then commenced shakedown operations and underwent a series of shipwide inspections. The Blue crew completed a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) and launched the ship's first TRIDENT (C-4) missile. In July 1985, the Gold crew relieved the Blue crew and completed the shakedown schedule. In October 1985 the Blue crew relieved the Gold crew to take USS ALABAMA back into the shipyard at Electric Boat for Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). Following PSA, USS ALABAMA transited to Mobile in February 1986 to participate in Mardi Gras festivities. The Gold crew relieved the Blue crew in Mobile and commenced the voyage to their new homeport in Bangor, Washington.

In April 1986, both crews completed the first refit at Submarine Base, Bangor, and the Blue crew subsequently conducted the first USS ALABAMA Strategic Patrol. The Gold crew conducted its first patrol in the Summer/Fall of 1986.

In May 1988, the Gold crew conducted a highly successful Fleet Operational Test Missile firing, launching two TRIDENT I (C-4) missiles.

On 1 September 1988, USS ALABAMA moored at Bangor, Washington, completing the ship's 9th patrol and the 100th Strategic Deterrent Patrol by a TRIDENT submarine. An official ceremony commemorating the event was held pierside with then Under Secretary of the Navy, H. Lawrence Garrett III, heading the official greeting party.

The USS ALABAMA was selected for the FY95 U.S. Strategic Command "Omaha" Trophy. This award is given to the top performing ballistic missile asset in the U.S. Strategic Command.

Additionally, the Gold crew was selected by the Bremerton chapter of the Navy League for the 1990 "Outstanding Submarine Performance Award."

In the fall of 1990, the USS ALABAMA Gold crew spearheaded a program to assist the community of Silverdale in educating local school children on water quality issues. "Water For Life," as this program was christened, has become a landmark project educating elementary school students and involving local, county, and state agencies in a major cleanup of the local watershed.

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Awards of USS ALABAMA:

USS ALABAMA was commissioned on 25 May 1985 and assigned to Commander Submarine Force Pacific in early 1986. She has continued the proud traditions established by her predecessors having been recognized for superior performance in winning the prestigious Captain Edward F. Ney memorial award for the best Food Service Division for small afloat unit in 1987, and placing third in the same competition in 1988. ALABAMA earned the distinction of having completed the 100th TRIDENT Strategic Deterrent Patrol during September 1988, and in her short history has been awarded with the Commander Submarine Squadron Seventeen Battle Efficiency "E" twice and the following departmental awards: Engineering Red "E", Communication Green C", Supply Blue "E-, Antisubmarine Red "A", Damage Control Red -DC" and Deck Seamanship Anchor.

In 1991, The USS ALABAMA was again awarded the Squadron Seventeen Communications "C" and the Damage Control "DC". In 1992, the ship was runner-up in the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award as well as being awarded the Squadron Seventeen Damage Control "DC", Engineering "E", and for the first time of any TRIDENT submarine, the Administration "A" Award.

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