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Release No: 402-95
July 25, 1995



The ballistic missile submarine Maine (SSBN 741) will be commissioned at noon on Saturday, July 29, 1995, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

Secretary of Defense William J. Perry will be the ceremony's principal speaker, and Donna McLarty, who christened the ship in July of 1994, will make sponsor's remarks. Mrs. McLarty is the wife of Counselor to the President Mack McLarty.

Speakers at the ceremony will also include Maine political leaders Senator William S. Cohen, Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Representative John E. Baldacci, Representative James B. Longley, Jr., and Governor Angus S. King; as well as Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton and the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Strategic Command, Admiral Henry G. Chiles, Jr.

The submarine is named for our 23rd State. Two previous U.S. Navy ships have been named Maine, an armored battleship (1895-1898) whose sinking precipitated the Spanish-American War, and another battleship (BB 10) (1902-1920) which participated in the globe-circling deployment of the "Great White Fleet."

Maine is the 16th of 18 Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines authorized by Congress. As a principal part of the U.S. strategic defense posture, Maine will serve as an ever-vigilant deterrent in an uncertain world.

Maine will be manned by two rotating crews of 16 officers and 157 enlisted personnel. Captain Gary A. Gradisnik, USN, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will be the commanding officer for the Blue crew, and Commander David L. Comis, USN, of Thousand Oaks, California, will be the Gold crew commanding officer. Maine will be homeported at Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Georgia. The submarine is 560 feet in length, has a beam of 42 feet and displaces approximately 18,750 tons submerged.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Lieutenant Commander James Brooks, Maine Pre-Commissioning Unit Information Bureau, at (207) 438-3967.

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