USS Kentucky Gets New Commander

US Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony at the Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor.

Cmdr. Jeffery S. Smith, a native of Independence, Ky., was relieved by Cmdr. John W. Hale as commanding officer the submarine on April 21.

Recently, the vessel successfully completed a week-long sea trial, marking the first time Kentucky has been at sea since she entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for an engineered refueling overhaul, a process which took 40 months to complete.

Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines like Kentucky were originally intended to have a service life of 30 years before being replaced with a new class of submarine.

Smith’s next assignment is to Submarine Group 9, also located at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor.

Kentucky is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines stationed at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor, Washington, providing the survivable leg of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces.

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Image: US Navy