USS Alaska Hosts Adoption Ceremony for Savannah Navy League


USS Alaska (SSBN 732) hosted an adoption ceremony for the Savannah Navy League as the organization officially recognized their adoption of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine May 7.

Cmdr. Kevin Byrne, Alaska (Blue) commanding officer, said he hopes the relationship between the boat and Savannah Navy League strengthens as the two get to know each other better over time.

“[The adoption] allows us, when we go to sea, to know that there are people back shore-side supporting our families when we really can’t be there because the ship is out; unable to communicate,” said Byrne.

Bob Gephart, Savannah Navy League president, said the organization was looking for a Navy vessel to adopt and Alaska was first to answer the call.

“Savannah Navy League chose to sponsor – our term is ‘adopt’ – USS Alaska in order to increase our support of U.S. Navy personnel,” said Gephart. “We have very little [U.S. Navy) presence in Savannah, so we devote lots of resources to support USCG units here, which we thoroughly enjoy. But we were looking for an opportunity to work with Navy personnel, too.

We hope that our relationship will include opportunities for us to participate in recognition ceremonies for outstanding Sailors – Sailor of the Quarter, Sailor of the Year, and similar awards for Blue Jackets,” Gephart continued. “We would like to award these Sailors a book from the Navy Reading List and a U.S. Savings Bond, if appropriate. We also would like to offer support to the boat’s ombudsman.”

One of the league’s hopes was realized as Gephart awarded the Sailor of the quarter and the junior Sailor of the quarter with a book and a U.S. Savings Bond, which was the second time the Savannah-based organization held such an honor with Alaska.

USS Alaska (SSBN 732) is the fourth U.S. Navy ship named for the 49th state.

Source: navy, May 11, 2011;