USA: Naval Submarine Base Commemorates 35th Anniversary
Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay, previously an inactive Army Marine Ocean Terminal for national emergencies, is now home to the most powerful and strategic vessels produced for the U.S. Navy.
The month of May is the 35th anniversary of NSB Kings Bay. The celebration was highlighted by a Memorial Day Remembrance and 35th Anniversary ceremony at the Submarine Veterans of World War II Pavilion, outside Trident Training Facility, May 23.
“I am proud to say that nowhere in the Navy is there a community that is more supportive of its base and of the Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who serve there, as well as their families,” said Capt. Harvey Guffey Jr., NSB Kings Bay commanding officer.
Guest speakers included Vice Adm. Al Konetzni (Ret.), former commodore, Submarine Squadron 16, and Rear Adm. John “Jack” Scorby, Commander, Navy Region Southeast.
“Our community takes pride in our history,” said Konetzni. “There is no community in the United States of America that has come together like this one. I want to thank this base and all of the service members for what they do for the USA.”
The ceremony included a wreath laying in observance of Memorial Day, a 21 Gun Salute, and the singing of Anchors Aweigh by the Camden County High School choir.
“This community does an absolutely tremendous job of supporting our military men and women and their families, not just on patriotic holidays or times of crisis, but every day of the year,” said Admiral Scorby. “That support is so vital that we couldn’t do our job without you.”
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) started the anniversary observance by hosting a Armed Forces Challenges Tournament and Armed Forces Kids Run, among other activities.
Crowds showed up for the Party in the Park, where they enjoyed food booths, displays, activity tables and a fun zone for children, May 22.
“You notice we have the Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard here all together celebrating the base’s birthday and the community that we have,” said Beth Morrison, Kings Bay MWR liberty program manager. “There are not many bases that have the variety that we do, and I think we are lucky to have it. This birthday bash lets us give back to the community.”
The highlight of the event was a live music performed by the up and coming country band, Scarletta.
“Seeing everybody out there while we performed with smiles on their faces and having a good time was all that mattered,” said Aubrey Collins, Scarletta lead singer. “We support the military as much as we can, and we wanted to give back to them as much as they give to us. That is what we aim for.”
From January to July 1978, the first group of sailors arrived to Kings Bay to transfer the base from the Army to the Navy. Construction of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay was the largest peacetime construction program ever undertaken by the U.S. Navy.
Press Release, May 29, 2013; Image: US Navy