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.
Image: US Navy