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Release No: 443-96
July 25, 1996


The last Trident Ballistic Missile Submarine, Louisiana (SSBN 743), will be christened during an 11:30 a.m. ceremony Saturday, July 27, 1996, at Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut.

Former Secretary of the Navy Sean O'Keefe, a native of Louisiana, will be the ceremony's principal speaker. His mother, Mrs. Patricia O'Keefe, is the ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. O'Keefe will break a bottle of champagne across the bow and formally name Louisiana.

Distinguished guests attending the ceremony will include Connecticut Congressman Sam Gejdenson; General Eugene E. Habiger, Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command; the Honorable John W. Douglass, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition); the Honorable H. B. (Hunt) Downer, Jr., Speaker of Louisiana, House of Representatives; Vice Admiral George R. Sterner, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command; Vice Admiral Richard W. Mies, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet/Commander Submarine Allied Command Atlantic; Rear Admiral Richard A. Buchanan, Commander, Submarine Group Two; Rear Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., Director, Submarine Warfare Division; and Mr. John Welch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Electric Boat Corporation.

Named to honor the 18th state in the union, three previous ships have borne the name Louisiana: a sloop (1812-1821), a sidewheel steamer (1861-1864), and a battleship (BB 19) (1906- 1920).

Louisiana is the last of 18 Ohio Class/Trident ballistic missile submarines authorized by Congress to be built. As a principal part of the U.S. defense posture, Louisiana will provide the nation's most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability. Louisiana was designed for extended patrols to carry out the national objective of strategic deterrence. Once commissioned, the ship will become part of the nuclear Triad and under the war fighting control of U.S. Strategic Command. Louisiana is equipped with the Trident II D-5 missile system. The armament includes 24 missile tubes for Trident II submarine launched ballistic missiles and torpedo tubes for MK-48 torpedoes.

Following the commissioning in 1997, Louisiana will be homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia, as part of the Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Captain Wil Cooke, a native of Marion, Alabama, is the prospective Commanding Officer with a crew of 16 Officers, and 157 Sailors. The ship is 560 feet in length, has a beam of 42 feet, displaces approximately 18,750 tons submerged and is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 20 knots.

For information related to the christening, contact Mr. Mike Futrell, Vice Chairman, Commissioning Committee, at (504) 928- 4444.

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