On July 20, 2012, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation to the ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) force. This commendation, a unit award equivalent to the Bronze Star, recognizes the boomer fleet’s excellence in deterrence between July 16, 2007 and January 28, 2010. Award ceremonies were held in Bangor, Wash. and Kings Bay, Ga., the homeports of the ballistic-missile submarines in Pacific Task Force 134 and Atlantic Task Force 144. These ceremonies took place on the 52nd anniversary of the Navy’s first submerged ballistic-missile launch, made by USS George Washington (SSBN 598) in July 1960.
Task Force 134 is comprised of eight SSBNs – USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730), USS Alabama (SSBN 731), USS Nevada (SSBN 733), USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735), USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), USS Nebraska (SSBN 739), USS Maine (SSBN 741), and USS Louisiana (SSBN 743). Additionally, it includes Submarine Group 9, Submarine Squadron 17, and Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor.
Task Force 144 is comprised of six SSBNs – USS Alaska (SSBN 732), USS Tennessee (SSBN 734), USS West Virginia (SSBN 736), USS Maryland (SSBN 738), USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740), USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), as well as Submarine Group 10, Submarine Squadron 20, and Naval Submarine Support Center Kings Bay.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ahron Arendes