During a ceremony Wednesday at the District of Columbia city hall, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus formally announced the first ship of the new fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), formerly known as the Ohio-class replacement, will be named USS Columbia (SSBN 826) in honor of the District of Columbia.
(Learn More, courtesy of Daily Military Defense & Archive and YouTube)
Ballistic missile submarines are critical, stabilizing and efficient elements of the U.S. nuclear deterrence and assurance policy, carrying the majority of deployed U.S. nuclear warheads.
Columbia-class SSBNs incorporate advanced technology and will provide the most survivable leg of the Nation’s strategic triad.
Mabus also announced that the next ship in the John Lewis-class of fleet replenishment oilers, named in honor of U.S. civil rights heroes, will be named USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207).
(Learn More. Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) conduct an underway replenishment with the Fleet Replenishment Oiler USNS John Lenthal (T-AO 189). Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bounome Chanphouang. Courtesy of AiirSource Military and YouTube)
The future USNS Earl Warren will be operated by Military Sealift Command and provide underway replenishment of fuel and stores to U.S. Navy ships at sea and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers. Construction is expected to begin on the Earl Warren in 2019.
(See the Expeditionary Fast Transport. Courtesy of Austal USA – and YouTube)
The final ship named during the ceremony was the future USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11). The Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), formerly named the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran that is designed for High Speed Intra-Theater Surface Lift.
It serves in a variety of roles for the military, including support of overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions and supporting special operations forces.
Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, will build the new EPF, which will be 338 feet long, have a waterline beam of 93.5 feet, displace approximately 2,362 tons, and operate at speeds of approximately 35+ knots.