Twenty-eight men, women and children, both civilians and veterans, of the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council Navy League went on an organized tour of the Trident Training Facility and the USS Maine (SSBN-741) last week. The USS Maine is currently docked at Naval Base Kitsap on Bangor for routine maintenance. The tour was led by PAO, Lt. Commander Mike Smith.
The USS Maine (SSBN–741) is the third ship to bear the name of the state. The first Maine was the first battleship in the US Navy. The current USS Maine’s Chief Quarters features memorabilia from the earlier two vessels.
The group started the tour at the Trident Training Facility (TTF) on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor (NBK) where we were divided into two smaller parties. Senior Chief Keener led our group through various training Submarine Trainers of TTF. The group learned how the crew loaded torpedoes and missiles into simulated tubes, worked on the submarine’s Fairbanks Morse Diesel Engine, did wet training drills in case of flooding and got the unique experience of driving the dive simulator.
The USS Maine is an Ohio Class Sub. The sub was commissioned July 29, 1995. It weighs approximately 18,750 tons when submerged and is 560 feet in length. There are 24 missile tubes on the USS Maine for Trident missiles. The crew consists of 176 crew members; including four female officers. There are two crews and she is at sea approximately 80% of the time and docked for maintenance the remaining 20%.
Our tour group was able to see a large portion of the Maine including; Control, Navigation Center, Torpedo Room, Missile Compartment, Auxiliary Spaces, and Missile Control Center. What impressed me was the expertise of the crew! Many of the areas of the Maine were off limits due to security but overall the experience was something to remember. Thank you PAO, Lieutenant Commander Smith, Trident Training Center, Master Chief Jerry Washburn and the crew of USS Maine for all that you do.
Article by Frank Portello – Navy League Board Member