USS FLORIDA
SSGN 728
  
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The keel of the SSBN 728 was laid on the occasion of the nation's Bicentennial, July 4, 1976, at General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division. The ship was unnamed at the keel-laying ceremony and remained that way until January 19, 1981, when the Secretary of the Navy officially assigned it the name Florida. The initial ship's crew formed the Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) on July 8,1980. The first shipboard watches were stationed on February 14, 1981, to support the operational control transfer of engineering systems to ship's force control.

PCU Florida was christened and launched on November 14, 1981, sponsored by Mrs. Jarcia M. Carlucci. Her reactor was initially taken critical on November 13, 1982, and she went into service and the crew moved onboard on January 21, 1983. The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine commenced initial builders' sea trials on Feb. 21 and was subsequently delivered to the Navy on May 17, 43 days ahead of schedule. She was commissioned on June 18, 1983, with Capt. William L. Powell in command of the Blue Crew and Capt. George R. Sterner in command of the Gold Crew.

Both crews successfully completed the demonstration and shakedown operations, each culminated by the successful launch of a Trident C-4 missile. USS Florida (Gold) transited the Panama Canal in February and arrived in Bangor, Wash., on March 25, 1984.

July 25, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after completing its first, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

May 21, Capt. Robert W. Boyce relieved Capt. George R. Sterner as CO of the USS Florida (Gold).

August 28, Capt. Donald M. Lachata relieved Capt. William L. Powell as commanding officer of the Blue Crew.

November 4, USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 2nd, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

February 11, 1985 SSBN 728 (Blue) returned home after a 75-day strategic deterrent patrol.

August 16, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after completing its 5th, two-month, strategic deterrent patrol.

February 17, 1986 USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Wash., after completing its 7th strategic deterrent patrol.

May 23, USS Florida (Gold) returned to homeport after completing its 8th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

June 14, Capt. Peter M. Galbraith relieved Capt. Robert W. Boyce as CO of the SSBN 728 (Gold).

August 14, USS Florida (Blue) successfully launched two Trident I (C4) missiles during a Follow-on Operational Test. The sub completed patrol Sept. 4.

September 24, Capt. Robert J. Labrecque relieved Capt. Donald M. Lachata as CO of the Blue Crew.

December 13, USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 10th, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

March 18, 1987 USS Florida (Blue) returned to homeport after completing its 11th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

June 26, SSBN 728 (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 12th, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

October 5, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Washington, after two-and-a-half month patrol.

January 8, 1988 USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 14th, ten-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

April 12, SSBN 728 (Blue) returned to Bangor after completing its 15th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

July 22, USS Florida (Gold) returned to homeport after a 10-week strategic deterrent patrol.

September 20, Capt. Kent V. L. McNeil relieved Capt. Peter M. Galbraith as commanding officer of the Gold Crew.

November 3, USS Florida (Blue) returned home after completing its 17th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

December 16, Capt. Lyle D. Meier relieved Capt. Robert J. Labrecque as CO of the SSBN 728 (Blue).

February 10, 1989 USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor, Wash., after a 74-day strategic deterrent patrol.

May 9, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after completing its 19th, two-month, strategic deterrent patrol.

August 16, SSBN 728 (Gold) returned to homeport after more than a two-month strategic deterrent patrol.

November 26, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after two-and-a-half month strategic deterrent patrol.

February 26, 1990 USS Florida (Gold) returned home after completing its 22nd, two-month, strategic deterrent patrol.

April 26, Capt. George E. Keefe, Jr., relieved Capt. Kent V. L. McNeil as CO of the Florida (Gold).

June 17, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Wash., after two-and-a-half month strategic deterrent patrol.

September 30, USS Florida (Gold) returned to homeport after completing its 24th, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

January 5, 1991 USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after completing its 25th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

February 21, Capt. Paul F. Sullivan relieved Capt. Lyle D. Meier as commanding officer of the Blue Crew.

March 19, The third Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine successfully conducted a Trident I Follow-on CINC Evaluation Test from a launch point in the Pacific Ocean.

April 23, SSBN 728 (Gold) returned to NSB Bangor after completing a nearly three-month strategic deterrent patrol.

August 1, USS Florida (Blue) returned home after completing its 27th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

November 11, USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after two-and-a-half month strategic deterrent patrol.

February 14, 1992 USS Florida (Blue) returned to homeport after completing a nearly 10-week strategic deterrent patrol.

June 3, USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 30th, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

July 28, Capt. Kurt M. Trautman relieved Capt. George E. Keefe, Jr., as CO of the SSBN 728 (Gold).

September 19, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Naval Submarine Base Bangor after completing its 31st, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

January 8, 1993 USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 32nd, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

April 25, USS Florida (Blue) returned home after completing its 33rd, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

May 21, Capt. T. W. Mader relieved Capt. Paul F. Sullivan as CO of the SSBN 728 (Blue).

August 6, USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after a two-month strategic deterrent patrol.

November 10, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Wash., after completing its 35th, two-month, strategic deterrent patrol.

February 18, 1994 USS Florida (Gold) returned to homeport after completing its 36th, two-month, strategic deterrent patrol.

June 3, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after a 10-week strategic deterrent patrol.

September 16, SSBN 728 (Gold) returned to homeport after completing its 38th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

November 30, Capt. Robert G. Speer relieved Capt. Kurt M. Trautman as CO of the Gold Crew.

December 23, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Wash., after completing its 39th strategic deterrent patrol.

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine successfully launched six Trident I missiles during a Follow-on CINC Evaluation Test on March 8 and 16, 1995.

May 18, USS Florida (Blue) departed Bangor for its 41st strategic deterrent patrol. The sub returned home May 20 for evalution and repair of material problem; patrol aborted.

July 5, Capt. Robert G. Speer took command of the Florida (Green) during a crew-combined ceremony.

October 1, SSBN 728 (Gold) commenced the third Trident SSBN engineered overhaul (EOH) at Trident Refit Facility (TRF), Bangor, Wash. The EOH was managed by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton.

July 5, 1996 Cmdr. Michael E. Neller took command of the Gold Crew and Capt. Robert G. Speer of the Blue, during a crew-split ceremony.

September 23, Cmdr. M. J. Alfonso relieved Capt. Robert G. Speer as CO of the Blue Crew.

October 2, USS Florida (Gold) successfully launched one C4 missile during the ship's Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO). This was the final Trident I C4 DASO.

February 28, 1997 USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 42nd, three-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

June 5, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Wash., after completing its 43rd, ten-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

August 12, Cmdr. Gregory M. Billy took command of the SSBN 728 (Blue) after Rear Adm. Sullivan, Commander, Submarine Group Nine, relieved of duty Cmdr. M. J. Alfonso, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

September 2, USS Florida (Gold) returned home after a nearly two-month strategic deterrent patrol.

December 22, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after a two-month, strategic deterrent patrol.

April 23, 1998 USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 46th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

August 13, SSBN 728 (Blue) returned to homeport after completing its 47th, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

December 3, USS Florida (Gold), returned to Naval Submarine Base Bangor after two-and-a-half month strategic deterrent patrol.

March 11, 1999 USS Florida (Blue) returned to homeport after a nearly two-month strategic deterrent patrol.

October 31, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Wash., after completing its 51st, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

February 23, 2000 USS Florida (Gold) returned to Bangor after completing its 52nd, two-month, strategic deterrent patrol.

June 14, USS Florida (Blue) returned home after completing its 53rd, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

October 3, SSBN 728 (Gold) returned to NSB Bangor after completing its 54th strategic deterrent patrol.

January 25, 2001 USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after completing its 55th, two-and-a-half month, strategic deterrent patrol.

March 19, Cmdr. Kevin M. Torcolini relieved Cmdr. Barry L. Bruner as commanding officer of the Gold Crew.

May 15, USS Florida (Gold) returned to homeport after a nearly two-month patrol. That was the 3,500th Strategic Deterrent Patrol by a U.S. Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Submarine.

June 8, Cmdr. David M. Duryea relieved Cmdr. Kevin M. Torcolini as CO of the Florida (Gold).

August 29, USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor after completing its 57th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

December 19, SSBN 728 (Gold) returned to homeport after completing its 58th strategic deterrent patrol.

April 8, 2002 USS Florida (Blue) returned to Bangor, Wash., after completing its 59th, nine-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

July 26, USS Florida (Gold) returned home after completing its 60th, 10-week, strategic deterrent patrol.

September 5, USS Florida (Blue) departed Bangor for its 61st and last Trident patrol.

October 25, Cmdr. David M. Duryea relieved Cmdr. Jeffrey T. Powers as CO of the USS Florida (Green) during the crew combinaton ceremony.

December 19, USS Florida (SSGN 728) arrived at its new homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. Four Ohio-class strategic missile submarines, USS Ohio (SSBN 726), USS Michigan (SSBN 727) USS Florida, and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) have been selected for transformation into a new platform, designated SSGN.

January 14-16, 2003 USS Florida successfully launched two Tomahawk cruise missiles during an SSGN Demonstration and Validation (DEMVAL) test. The successful flight tests demonstrated that Tomahawk's could be launched vertically from an Ohio-class submarine. SSGN 728 is currently off the coast of the Bahamas participating in "Giant Shadow", a Naval Sea Systems Command/Naval Submarine Forces experiment to test the capabilities of the Navy's future guided-missile submarines. The Giant Shadow is the first experiment under the "Sea Trial" initiative of the Chief of Naval Operations' Sea Power 21 vision and the first in a series of experiments before converting and overhauling the four SSBNs to SSGNs.

May 27, USS Florida arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, Va., for the start of a process that will change the submarine from a ballistic missile carrier into the Navy’s latest and most awesome conventional weapon, the guided-missile submarine. The ship entered the Dry Dock 4 on July 8. Started Engineered Refueling Overhaul (ERO) and SSGN conversion on Aug. 1.

On August 27, at around 10:15 AM a fire broke out on the USS Florida, near the reactor compartment. According to the Nofolk Virginian-Pilot on Aug. 28, the fire was put out in 10 minutes and there was no damage to the submarine. The reactor was not in operation, as it is currently undergoing a refueling complex overhaul. The cause of the fire was not known.

April 16, 2004 Cmdr. Gregory M. Ott relieved Cmdr. David M. Duryea as CO of USS Florida during a change-of-command ceremony at Trophy Park, NNSY.

February 10, 2005 USS Florida undocked, achieving a major milestone in the overhaul and conversion process for the guided-missile submarine (SSGN) program.

March 25, 2006 The guided-missile submarine departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard for sea trials off the coast of Virginia.

April 11, SSGN 728 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., completing the sub’s three-year refueling and conversion at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.

May 25, USS Florida returned to active service during the ceremony held in Mayport, Florida.

May 22, 2007 USS Florida launched four Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Eglin Air Force Base land attack test range, May 15 to 17, during its successful Strike Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL). She launched a total of three Block IV and one Block III Tomahawk cruise missiles from a single MAC from missile tube three. Two Block IV Tomahawks were launched less than one minute apart on the first day of testing. In a first-of-its-kind demonstration.

April 26, 2008 USS Florida departed Kings Bay for its first operational deployment after undergoing conversion to SSGN. She will be deployed for approximately 12 months. The blue crew will rotate duties every three months with the gold crew, led by Capt. John Litherland, during the underway period.

May 7, The Florida moored at HMNB Gibraltar, British overseas teritory, for a routine port call.

July 21, SSGN 728 recently conducted a crew swap while docked at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia.

February 3, 2009 Capt. Randy B. Crites relieved Capt. William F. Traub as commanding officer of the Florida (Blue), during a ceremony in Diego Garcia. Capt. Thomas M. Calabrese is CO of the Gold Crew.

April 21, The guided-missile submarine departed Souda Bay, Crete, after a four-day port visit.

May 8, USS Florida returned to homeport after a maiden deployment as guided-missile submarine. She is the first Trident-class submarine to transit the Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Strait of Hormuz, and the largest submarine ever to operate in the Persian Gulf. The ship also visited Gibraltar and Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

February 16, 2010 USS Florida (Blue) departed Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay for its second SSGN deployment.

March 9, SSGN 728 pulled into Souda Bay, Greece, for a routine port call.

June 9, The Florida arrived in Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Teritory, for routine maintenance and a crew exchange.

January 3, 2011 Capt. Gregory M. Ott relieved Capt. Randy B. Crites as CO of USS Florida (Blue) during a change-of-command ceremony at Navy Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia.

March 4, The guided-missile submarine pulled into Naples, Italy, for a brief port viist.

March 7, USS Florida arrived in Souda Bay, Greece, for a routine port call.

March 19, The Florida (Gold) launched Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs), after 8 p.m. local time in the Mediterranean Sea, in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

April 8, SSGN 728 moored at HMNB Gibraltar for a port visit to British overseas teritory.

April 29, USS Florida returned to Kings Bay after a 14-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet AoR. The submarine launched more than 90 TLAMs in support of OOD.

May 5, Capt. David Kirk relieved Capt. Thomas Calabrese as CO of the Florida (Gold) during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

July 21, SSGN 728 is currently in dry-dock at Trident Refit Facility (TRF) for routine maintenance.

June 18, 2012 USS Florida (Blue) pulled into Souda Bay, Greece, for a week-long port call. The guided-missile submarine recently departed Kings Bay, Ga., for its third SSGN patrol.

August 17, The Florida arrived at Navy Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia for routine maintenance and a crew exchange.

October 5, Capt. Owen M. Travis relieved Capt. Gregory M. Ott as CO of the USS Florida (Blue) during a change-of-command ceremony at NSB Kings Bay.

November 25, USS Florida (Gold) arrived in Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Teritory, for upkeep and a crew exchange.

May 21, 2013 SSGN 728 (Gold) arrived in Naval Support Activity Souda Bay in Crete, Greece, for a three-day port call. Brief stop in Augusta Bay, Sicily, on May 29.

June 17, USS Florida returned to NSB Kings Bay after more than a 12-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet AoR.

July 3, The Florida (Blue) departed homeport for routine operations.

July 19, Capt. Louis E. Mayer, IV relieved Capt. David Kirk as CO of the USS Florida (Gold) during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Chapel.

August 28, 2014 USS Florida returned to Kings Bay following routine operations.

October ?, USS Florida (Blue) departed Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay for its fourth patrol as a guided-missile submarine.

November 5, The Florida arrived in Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, for a routine port call.

January 26, 2015 Capt. Nathan H. Martin relieved Capt. Owen M. Travis as CO of the USS Florida (Blue) during a change-of-command ceremony at Bravo Wharf on Navy Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia. SSGN 728 recently arrived for a routine port call and a crew exchange.

June 26, Capt. William C. McKinney relieved Capt. Louis E. Mayer, IV as CO of the Florida (Gold) during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Chapel.

January 7, 2016 USS Florida (Gold) moored outboard the USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) at Bravo Wharf, Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia, for a two-week Fleet Maintenance Availability (FMAV) and to conduct crew exchange.

April 3, The Florida (Blue) made a brief stop in Souda Bay, Crete; Moored at West Berth K14 in Souda Bay for a crew exchange from April 5-10; Brief stop at South Mole on HM Naval Base Gibraltar, British overseas teritory, on April 16.

April 29, USS Florida moored at Explosive Handling Wharf #2 on NSB Kings Bay following an extended 18-month patrol.