Several crew members from the USS Tennessee (SSBN 734) arrived in Chattanooga last week for four days of rest, relaxation and fun.
Hosted by the Navy League of the United States John J. Spittler Greater Chattanooga Council, the boat’s commanding officer, Commander John L. Howrey; his Chief of the Boat or “COB”, Senior Chief Stacy Hammann, and eight other “Blue” crew members began their visit by joining the Navy League for its Summer Meeting at Chattanooga’s Mountain City Club on Thursday.
Senior Chief Hammann, whose U.S. Navy rate is sonar technician – submarines, opened the evening’s presentation by introducing each crew member, explaining his rate or specialty and describing his job on the submarine.
Commander Howrey then took the podium and provided an overview of the USS Tennessee‘s mission as well as some details about what the future may hold regarding U.S. Navy submarines.
All crew members were presented with admission passes to Chattanooga’s Riverbend festivities and on Friday were treated to a personalized tour of Chickamauga Battlefield at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
The crew’s stay in Chattanooga is a reciprocal visit at the request of the Chattanooga Navy League which adopted the submarine and its crew several years ago.
Earlier this year Navy League members and guests traveled to USS Tennessee’s homeport at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay near St. Mary’s, Ga., where they were treated to a three-hour, personalized tour of the submarine as well as a visit to the Trident Training facility, one of the nation’s largest government buildings.
On average, the Tennessee spends 77 days at sea followed by 35 days in port for maintenance. Each boat has two crews – Blue and Gold – which alternate manning the submarine while on patrol. This maximizes the boat’s strategic availability, reduces the number of submarines needed to meet requirements and allows proper crew training, readiness and morale.
USS Tennessee (SSBN-734) is an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and was commissioned in 1988. She is 560’ long with a beam of 42’ and draft of 38’. Her speed is 20+ knots submerged. Propulsion is provided by a steam-turbine driven nuclear reactor. She is capable of launching Trident II D5 missiles from her 24 missile tubes as well as MK48 torpedoes.
Founded in 1902, the Navy League of the United States is a civilian organization dedicated to the education of citizens about the importance of sea power. Through more than 43,000 members and some 245 local councils, the Navy League supports men and women serving in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S.-Flag Merchant Marine and provides support to their families as well.
The Navy League encourages America's young people through its youth programs, including sponsorship of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, the Navy League Scholarship Program and Navy JROTC units like the one at Howard High School in Chattanooga.
For more information about Navy League programs call Patty Parks at 326-0839 or visit www.chattanooganavyleague.org.