Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
Overview
 
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is a base of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 located adjacent to the town of St. Marys
St. Marys, Georgia
-See also:*Cumberland Island*St. Marys Historic District*St. Marys Railroad-External links:***...

 in Camden County, Georgia
Camden County, Georgia
Camden County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is one of the original counties of Georgia, created February 5, 1777. As of 2000, the population was 43,664. The 2007 Census Estimate shows a population of 48,689. The county seat is Woodbine.-History:The first European to land...

, in southeastern Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and not far from Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

. The Submarine Base is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet
U.S. Atlantic Fleet
The United States Fleet Forces Command is an Atlantic Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval resources that are under the operational control of the United States Northern Command...

's home port for U.S. Navy Fleet ballistic missile
Ballistic missile
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...

 nuclear submarine
Nuclear submarine
A nuclear submarine is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor . The performance advantages of nuclear submarines over "conventional" submarines are considerable: nuclear propulsion, being completely independent of air, frees the submarine from the need to surface frequently, as is necessary for...

s armed with Trident missile
Trident missile
The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile equipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles . The Fleet Ballistic Missile is armed with nuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines . Trident missiles are carried by fourteen...

 nuclear weapons. This submarine base
Submarine base
A submarine base is a military base that shelters submarines and their personnel.Examples of present-day submarine bases include HMNB Clyde, Île Longue , Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Naval Submarine Base New London, and Rybachiy Nuclear Submarine Base .The Israeli navy bases its growing submarine...

 covers about 16,000 acres (6,400 hectares) of land, of which 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) are protected wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

s.
Archeological research has revealed a pre-Columbian
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 Indian
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 presence throughout the area, dating back thousands of years.

Early in the 19th century, much of what is now the submarine base was the site of several plantations, including Cherry Point, Harmony Hall, New Canaan, Marianna and Kings Bay.
Encyclopedia
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is a base of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 located adjacent to the town of St. Marys
St. Marys, Georgia
-See also:*Cumberland Island*St. Marys Historic District*St. Marys Railroad-External links:***...

 in Camden County, Georgia
Camden County, Georgia
Camden County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is one of the original counties of Georgia, created February 5, 1777. As of 2000, the population was 43,664. The 2007 Census Estimate shows a population of 48,689. The county seat is Woodbine.-History:The first European to land...

, in southeastern Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and not far from Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

. The Submarine Base is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet
U.S. Atlantic Fleet
The United States Fleet Forces Command is an Atlantic Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval resources that are under the operational control of the United States Northern Command...

's home port for U.S. Navy Fleet ballistic missile
Ballistic missile
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...

 nuclear submarine
Nuclear submarine
A nuclear submarine is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor . The performance advantages of nuclear submarines over "conventional" submarines are considerable: nuclear propulsion, being completely independent of air, frees the submarine from the need to surface frequently, as is necessary for...

s armed with Trident missile
Trident missile
The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile equipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles . The Fleet Ballistic Missile is armed with nuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines . Trident missiles are carried by fourteen...

 nuclear weapons. This submarine base
Submarine base
A submarine base is a military base that shelters submarines and their personnel.Examples of present-day submarine bases include HMNB Clyde, Île Longue , Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Naval Submarine Base New London, and Rybachiy Nuclear Submarine Base .The Israeli navy bases its growing submarine...

 covers about 16,000 acres (6,400 hectares) of land, of which 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) are protected wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

s.

The early years

Archeological research has revealed a pre-Columbian
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 Indian
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 presence throughout the area, dating back thousands of years.

Early in the 19th century, much of what is now the submarine base was the site of several plantations, including Cherry Point, Harmony Hall, New Canaan, Marianna and Kings Bay. Beginning in the 1790s, Thomas King built a plantation along the bay. John Houston McIntosh built a considerably larger plantation known as New Canaan, where he grew cotton and sugar cane.
The plantation system declined following the Civil War, and the land was broken up into smaller holdings. Residents harvested abundant fish and other seafood, and trapped and hunted to supplement small-scale farming of corn, rice, sugar and other vegetables.

The Army years

The US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 began to acquire 7000 acre (28.33 km²; 10.94 sq mi) of land at Kings Bay in 1954 to build a military ocean terminal to ship ammunition in case of a national emergency. Construction began in 1955 and was completed in 1958. A 200' wide channel was dredged to Cumberland Sound, and included two turning basins.

The most prominent feature of the terminal was its 2000 feet (609.6 m)-long, 87 feet (26.5 m)-wide concrete and steel wharf (600 by 26 m). It had three parallel railroad tracks, enabling the simultaneous loading of several ammunition ships from rail cars and trucks.

Elsewhere on the base, the Army laid 47 miles (75.6 km) of railroad tracks. Spurs off the main line ran into temporary storage areas protected by earthen barricades. These mounds of dirt, still prominent features in many areas of the base, were designed to localize damage in case of explosive accidents.

It was soon realized that there was no immediate operational need for the installation, so it was placed in an inactive ready status, and Blue Star Shipping Company signed a lease to use the wharf in 1959.

Although the Army base was never activated to serve its primary purpose, it was used twice for other missions. In 1964, as Hurricane Dora
Hurricane Dora
Hurricane Dora was the first tropical cyclone on record to make landfall over the extreme northeast coast of Florida. Dora was also the first storm to produce hurricane force winds to Jacksonville, Florida in the almost 80 years of record keeping. Dora killed five people and left over...

 hammered the area, nearly 100 area residents were sheltered aboard base. Also, during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

, an Army Transportation Battalion of 1,100 personnel and 70 small boats took up position at Kings Bay.

The Navy years

The chain of events that led to today’s combination of high-tempo submarine operations at Kings Bay and the complex construction project that reshaped the face of thousands of acres of land began in 1975. At that time, treaty negotiations between Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and the United States were in progress. A proposed change to the United States naval basing agreement with Spain included the withdrawal of the fleet ballistic-missile submarine squadron, Submarine Squadron 16, from its operational base at Rota, Spain
Rota, Spain
-External references:*, official website * On-line since 1999! News, premiere information, pictures, weather, etc. Into Spanish, English... ****- External links :...

, in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. Anticipating that this would take place, the Chief of Naval Operations
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

 ordered studies to select a new refit site on the East Coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

.

In January 1976, the negotiators initialed a draft treaty between Spain and the United States. It called for withdrawal of the submarine squadron from Rota by July 1979. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in June 1976.

After careful review, Kings Bay was selected in November 1976, shortly after the election of the Georgian Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 as the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. Soon afterward, the first Navy personnel arrived in the Kings Bay area and started preparations for the orderly transfer of property from the Army to the Navy. Naval Submarine Support Base Kings Bay was established in a developmental status 1 July 1978. The base—now Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, not only occupies the former Army terminal land, but several thousand additional acres.

Preparations for the arrival of the submarine squadron went forward with haste throughout the remainder of 1978 and into 1979. Commander Submarine Squadron 16 greeted the submarine tender
Submarine tender
A submarine tender is a type of ship that supplies and supports submarines.Submarines are small compared to most oceangoing vessels, and generally do not have the ability to carry large amounts of food, fuel, torpedoes, and other supplies, nor to carry a full array of maintenance equipment and...

 , when it arrived at Kings Bay on 2 July 1979. Four days later, the entered Kings Bay and moored alongside the Simon Lake’s starboard side to begin a routine refit in preparation for another nuclear weapons deterrence patrol. Kings Bay has been an operating submarine base ever since that time.

In May 1979, the U.S. Navy selected Kings Bay as its preferred East Coast site for the new Ohio-class Trident submarines
Ohio class submarine
The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The United States has 18 Ohio-class submarines:...

. On 23 October 1980, after a one-year environmental impact study was completed, and with Congressional approval, the Secretary of the Navy announced that Kings Bay would be the future home port for the new Trident
Trident missile
The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile equipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles . The Fleet Ballistic Missile is armed with nuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines . Trident missiles are carried by fourteen...

-missile submarines in the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

.

The decision to base the Trident submarines at Kings Bay started the largest peacetime construction program ever undertaken by the U.S. Navy. The program took nine years to complete at a cost of about $1.3 billion. The building project included the construction of three major commands: Trident Training Facility (TTF), Trident Refit Facility (TRF), and Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic (SWFLANT).

On 15 January 1989, the first Trident submarine, the USS , arrived at Kings Bay. She was followed by the USS later that same year. The new USS was commissioned at Kings Bay in October 1990, and she was followed by the in July 1991; the in June 1992; the in July 1993; the in July 1994; the in August 1995, and the in July 1996. The commissioning of the in September 1997 gave Kings Bay its maximum number of ten Trident submarines.

The enormous construction and organizational effort put forth by all the commands at Kings Bay reached their first goal in late March 1990, when the Trident II (D-5) missile made its first deterrent patrol on board the USS Tennessee.

The end of the Cold War and the reorganization of Naval and Air Force strategic weapons forces during the 1990s had a significant effect on the submarine base at Kings Bay. A high-level nuclear weapons policy review recommended that the U.S. Navy reduce its number of Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines from 18 to 14 by 2005.

The decision was made to temporarily decommission the four oldest Ohio-class Trident missile submarines for extensive shipyard work, in order to convert them into guided-missile submarines (SSGNs) carrying large numbers (about 150) conventionally-armed Tomahawk cruise missiles. These converted submarines also have accommodations for significant numbers of Navy SEALs or Marines if ever required to do so.

Furthermore, several Trident submarines were transferred from the Atlantic Fleet to the Pacific Fleet. The USS Pennsylvania departed on 4 August 2003 and the USS Kentucky departed on 24 August 2003, bound for the Trident submarine base at Bangor, Washington, as part of balancing the Trident fleet. In addition, both the USS Louisiana and the USS Maine were later transferred to the Pacific Fleet.

Both the USS Florida and the USS Georgia, have completed their conversions into Tomahawk missile-carrying SSGN submarines and now have their home ports at the Kings Bay Submarine Base.

Submarine Group 10

Submarine Group 10 was commissioned January 1, 1989, and is the senior commander at Kings Bay. Group 10 is a subordinate command to Commander Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet. It exercises command over various commands and units assigned, including operational and administrative control of the Ohio-class submarines based at Submarine Base Kings Bay.

Group 10 is the local coordinating authority for all matters assigned by the submarine force commander and exercises direct control over the administration and training of submarine offcrews at Kings Bay. Specifically included in these responsibilities are the proper integration and coordination of the facilities dedicated to training support of the Trident system.

Submarine Squadron 16

Submarine Squadron 16 provides administrative support for the East Coast-based Ohio-class
Ohio class submarine
The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The United States has 18 Ohio-class submarines:...

 SSGN submarines. The squadron coordinates planning and executing all SSGN maintenance with Trident Refit Facility and is responsible for all material readiness and fiscal responsibility. In addition Submarine Squadron 16 will provide support for SSBNs during and after major overhaul periods.

Submarine Squadron 20

Submarine Squadron 20 provides the same kind of support services as Submarine Squadron 16, except that it is responsible for the East Coast-based Ohio-class
Ohio class submarine
The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The United States has 18 Ohio-class submarines:...

 SSBN and the strategic deterrence missions those SSBNs undertake.

Naval Submarine Support Center

The submarine center provides centralized administrative and support services to the submarine squadron assisting them in their responsibilities for material, personnel, training and logistics of assigned and visiting submarines.

Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic

Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic (SWFLANT) provides strategic missiles and strategic weapons system support to the ballistic missile fleet. The command is responsible for assembling the D-5 missile and processing missile guidance and launcher subsystem components.

Marine Corps Security Force Battalion

Under the operational control of SWFLANT and commanded by a senior Marine Corps officer, the Security Force Battalion
Marine Corps Security Force Battalion
The Marine Corps Security Force Regiment is a dedicated security and anti-/counter-terrorism unit of the United States Marine Corps. It provides security forces to guard high-value naval installations, most notably those containing nuclear vessels and weapons. It also provides Fleet Antiterrorism...

 provides security operations as approved by the Chief of Naval Operations, in coordination with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and performs other functions as directed by the commandant. As of June 27, 2008 MCSFCO was restructured from a company to a battalion. A similar sister company is stationed with the west coast submarine base in Bangor, Washington. In addition to Marine Corps security forces, they are joined by Navy Master-At-Arms. The Master-At-Arms force is managed by Navy Master-At-Arms limited duty officers.

Trident Refit Facility

The Trident Refit Facility (TRF) is the largest tenant command at Kings Bay and has quietly and efficiently kept a significant portion of the United States Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines at sea since 1985. TRF provides quality industrial-level and logistics support for the incremental overhaul, modernization, and repair of Trident submarines. It also furnishes global submarine supplies and spare parts support. In addition, TRF provides maintenance and support services to other submarines, regional maintenance customers, and other activities as requested.

The Trident Refit Facility possesses the largest covered drydock in the world, measuring 700 feet (213.4 m) long, 100 feet (30.5 m) wide, and 67 feet (20.4 m) deep. A state-of-the-art Magnetic Silencing Facility (MSF) provides degaussing
Degaussing
Degaussing is the process of decreasing or eliminating an unwanted magnetic field. It is named after Carl Friedrich Gauss, an early researcher in the field of magnetism...

 services, including ranging and the removal of permanent magnetism for submarines of the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, as well as for steel-hulled surface warships. The MSF is the only facility of its kind on the East Coast, and it is also used for research for development of future magnetic systems. The Defensive Ordnance Support Facility maintains and stores all of the torpedo
Torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

es carried by the Trident missile submarines for self-defense.

Trident Training Facility

The Trident Training Facility (TTF), with over 520,000 square feet (48,000 m2) of classroom and office space, trains sailors in the skills necessary to operate and maintain the Trident submarine and its systems. TTF has an essential role in support of the Trident submarines and utilizes equipment trainers (simulators) to simulate, as realistically as possible, the actual equipment on the submarine. Trainers include damage control, fire fighting, ship control, navigation, and most weapons and engineering subsystems.

TTF’s mission is to provide basic, advanced, functional, refresher and team training to Trident submarine crew members and submarine support personnel, in order to increase and maintain the knowledge and proficiency in specific skills and to provide specialized training. The training facility has also been known to train foreign navies. The United Kingdom's
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 Vanguard class submarine
Vanguard class submarine
The Vanguard class are the Royal Navy's current nuclear ballistic missile submarines , each armed with up to 16 Trident II Submarine-launched ballistic missiles...

, through the Polaris Sales Agreement
Polaris Sales Agreement
The Polaris Sales Agreement was an agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom which formally arranged for the Polaris missile system to be provided to the UK to maintain its independent nuclear deterrent. The arrangement had been set up in principle as a result of the Nassau Agreement...

, shares the Trident missile and associated weapon subsystems with the United States and their sailors regularly visit the Kingsbay Naval Base. Additionally, the Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

n Navy trained at TTF because of the lack of high technology trainers in their own country.

Submarines with Home Ports at King's Bay

Guided Missile
Ballistic Missile

External links

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