Posted by: arbeam | December 30, 2012

Bangor mission stretching on for decades

Hood Canal Sub

BANGOR — Submarines on the drawing board will keep Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor at the center of the nation’s strategic defense for at least 60 more years. Though the Soviet Union collapsed two decades ago, leaving the United States as the world’s dominant military power, Russia still retains 1,500 warheads, the only nuclear arsenal comparable to the United States. Thus, the nation must keep enough weapons to deter a Russian nuclear attack, leaders believe. Bangor is integral to that policy.”As long as nuclear weapons remain in existence, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal,” said President Barack Obama, who favors a world free of them but never expects to see one.

A good chunk of that arsenal is believed to be in Bangor bunkers and aboard eight Trident submarines — SSBNs — the base supports. Each boat has 24 missile tubes. Each missile can carry up to eight independently targetable nuclear warheads. Bangor “boomers,” as the subs are called, can accommodate a total of 192 missiles, but never do. Until 2020, there will always be at least one submarine getting its reactor refueled. Others could be undergoing maintenance or hosting training. On Sept. 1, 136 of the 192 launch tubes held missiles, according to the State Department. The Navy doesn’t disclose the number of warheads on the missiles.

Read the Kitsap Sun Article


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