US Navy’s Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia (SSGN 729) returned to its homeport of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, on September 22 after spending more than two years deployed.
During the 790-day forward-deployment, the crew supported US Africa, Central and European Combatant Commands.
The boat’s operations covered a considerable area and saw it complete transits through the Straits of Sicily, Straits of Gibraltar, Straits of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.
The submarine was also at the center of a standoffs with Iran during one of its transits. Georgia was transiting the Strait of Hormuz in May 2021 when Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats started harassing it, forcing other US Navy assets to fire warning shots at the Iranian boats.
Rear Adm. Thomas R. “TR” Buchanan, commander of Submarine Group Ten, recognized the hard work it took to keep the ship out for such an extended period of time.
“We ask a tremendous amount out of our submariners who forward deploy and operate for months away for home,” said Buchanan.
While forward deployed, the ship sailed more than 100,000 nautical miles, which is the equivalent to traveling more than four times around the world, with stops in Souda Bay, Greece, Gibraltar, Oman, Diego Garcia, Faslane, Scotland, and Bahrain.
“Georgia has been doing the Nation’s business for 790 days,” said Buchanan. “It is with great pride we welcome them back to their homeport after a job exceptionally well done.”
Although the ship itself hasn’t returned to its homeport in more than two years, Georgia has two assigned crews, Blue and Gold that alternate manning the submarine.
In the past nearly 800 days, the crews performed four exchanges of command. While one crew deploys with the ship for a four to six-month period, the other returns to Kings Bay and conducts training at Trident Training Facility. The training program includes various simulated missions and scenarios. This training regimen ensures the crew remains tactically and operationally ready.
Georgia and the other three SSGNs that were converted from ballistic missile submarines into guided-missile ones provide the US Navy with one of the most versatile and clandestine platforms in the fleet. Georgia was converted from a trident ballistic-missile submarine in December 2007.
Ohio-class SSGNs are equipped with superior communications capabilities and can carry up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles. The platform can also be configured to host up to 66 special operation force personnel which deploy from the submarine via the dry deck shelter that can bee seen attached to USS Georgia behind the sail.