The USS Pennslyvania is the biggest of its kind in the U.S. Navy. The Ohio-class vessel is 560-feet long and holds 165 sailors. The massive submarine was launched in 1988.
The USS Pennsylvania is the 10th Ohio class ballistic missile submarine and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to use the name. The sub was christened on April 23, 1988, by the wife of Under Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III, Mrs. Marilyn Garrett.
The Pennslyvania was under the command of Capt. Richard M. Camp and Capt. A. Lee Edwards. She stayed at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Ga, for 13 years but eventually went to the base in Bangor, Washington, in 2002.
In July 2005, Pennsylvania was honored after her 50th patrol by the U.S. Strategic Command with the Omaha Trophy. The award was given for excellence in strategic deterrence.
The award is only given to three units for their parts in the USSTRATCOM’s mission. The three award categories were Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Command, a Submarine Ballistic Missile Command, and the original Strategic Aircraft Command.
In 2008, the ship hit a historical milestone with its 60th Strategic Deterrent Patrol. It was the 500th successful mission for an Ohio-class submarine.
Updating the Pennslyvania
The Pennslyvania underwent a 32-month refueling overhaul which was completed in August 2012. Once the upgrade was completed, and she passed sea trials, the submarine officially rejoined the squadron on Nov. 17, 2012.
Commander Gell Tiger L. Pittman took over command of the Gold Crew, and Commander Gustavo Gutierrez took over the Blue Crew, though Commander John E. Cage replaced him in 2014.
In 2020, the ship finished four strategic deterrent patrols and a refit period where it was dry-docked. It was commanded by Commander Roger C. Ferguson.