USS Maryland (SSBN-738)
|Namesake||State of Maryland|
|Ordered||14 March 1986|
|Builder||General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut|
|Laid down||22 April 1986|
|Launched||10 August 1991|
|Sponsored by||Sarah "Sally" Craig Larson|
|Commissioned||13 June 1992|
|Homeport||Kings Bay, Georgia|
|Status||in active service|
|Class and type||Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine|
|Length||560 ft (170 m)|
|Beam||42 ft (13 m)|
|Draft||38 ft (12 m)|
|Speed||Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)|
|Test depth||Greater than 800 feet (240 m)|
USS Maryland (SSBN-738) is an Ohio-class submarine in the United States Navy. Maryland is the 13th of the 18 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, and has been in active service since 1992. Maryland is the fourth US Navy vessel to be named after the US state of Maryland. Her mission is to provide the United States government with an undetectable and unattackable nuclear launch platform in support of the national strategy of strategic deterrence. The contract for the construction of the Maryland was awarded on 14 March 1986. Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation at Groton, Connecticut, on 22 April 1986.
Maryland was christened and launched on 10 August 1991 during a ceremony held at the Electric Boat shipyard. Vice Admiral Kenneth C. Malley, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Admiral Henry G. Chiles, Jr., Commander Submarine Force US Atlantic Fleet and The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley, the US Representative for Maryland's Second Congressional District were in attendance, along with ship sponsor, Sarah Craig Larson, wife of Admiral Charles R. Larson.
Maryland departed Groton for Kings Bay on 15 June 1992 and immediately started preparation for strategic certification, with a successful test launch on 29 Jul 1992, and starting Trident D-5 missile Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASO) on 7 July 1992. DASO was completed on 22 October 1992. Various other inspections and training exercises were conducted throughout 1992. Maryland returned to Groton on 30 January 1993 for post-shakedown maintenance prior to assuming responsibility for strategic deterrent patrols. Maryland returned to Kings Bay, Georgia on 9 April 1993. Maryland completed various weapons and tactical certifications and then returned to Kings Bay on 4 May 1993 to join Submarine Squadron 20 and commence preparations for the first strategic deterrent patrol. The initial loadout of Trident D-5 missiles was completed at this point. On 19 June 1993 Maryland went underway on her first strategic deterrent patrol, which started her strategic patrol cycle. On 21 September 2012 Maryland combined crews in preparation for mid-life refueling and overhaul at Norfolk Naval Ship Yard.
On 24 September 1993, Maryland ran aground at Port Canaveral, Florida, after conducting a medical evacuation of an ill crew member, and returned to Kings Bay to inspect for damage. Damage to the submarine was minimal, and the investigation found that the crew was not responsible. Maryland then resumed her second deterrent patrol on 26 September 1993.
Maryland has been involved in several Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Tests (FCET) of its Trident D-5 SLBM missile system. The FCET launches a specially modified missile without a nuclear payload, and is used to test the performance of the Trident missile system.
Maryland has been the recipient of many awards, including the following:
Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the United States Navy. The arms of Maryland hail the state's historical roots, while the submarine indicates the present-day Maryland is an Ohio-class submarine. The trident represents U.S. Navy weaponry and sea prowess; its bottom spike points to the ocean depths, the area of Maryland's operations. The heraldic dolphins symbolize speed, intelligence, and the ability to penetrate the deep. The laurel wreath is emblematic of excellence and accomplishment; its seven stars commemorate both the seven battle stars that battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) earned in World War II and that the state of Maryland was the seventh state to be admitted to the Union.
Maryland's coat of arms is emblazoned upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with gold rope and is inscribed in gold letters with the words "USS Maryland" above, and "SSBN-738" below.
The shield features the arms of the state of Maryland, which historically derives from the quartered arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. Its main color is blue, highlighted with silver. Beneath the shield is a scroll in blue, displaying the motto Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam ("Fear Only God and Dishonor") inscribed in gold letters. This is all superimposed upon a trident wreathed in laurel decorated with seven stars. The trident's bottom spike is flanked by two dolphins.
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