Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Alaska IV (SSBN-732)

A territory acquired by the United States from Russia in 1867. Alaska, located in the far northwestern corner of the North American continent and separated from the contiguous 48 states by Canada, was admitted to the Union as the 49th state in 1959.

The first ship named Alaska was a screw steamer that served from 1869-1883. The second Alaska (Id. No. 3035) was a steam-powered converted fishing trawler that operated briefly in the Navy from 1918-1919 ( The third Alaska (CB-1), a large cruiser, served from 1944-1960 (

For Alaska's Command Operations Reports see (

(SSBN-732: displacement 16,756; length 560'; beam 42'; draft 38'; speed 20+ knots; complement 153; armament 24 Trident I C4 submarine launched ballistic missiles and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 torpedoes; class Ohio)

The fourth Alaska (SSBN-732) was laid down on 9 March 1983 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.; launched on 12 January 1985; sponsored by Mrs. Catherine A. Stevens, wife of Senator Theodore F. Stevens of Alaska; and commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., on 25 January 1986, Capt. Paul L. Callahan (Blue Crew) and Capt. Charles J. Chotvacs (Gold Crew) in command.

Alaska spent much of 1986 engaged in shakedown training for her two crews and in clearing up the many details that attend a new fleet ballistic missile submarine’s addition to the Fleet. She operated initially from New London and Port Canaveral, Fla., but shifted homeports to the Pacific Northwest later in the year (4 September-1 October 1986). Alaska sailed through the Panama Canal, and visited San Francisco, Calif. (21-29 September) while en route. She then served with Submarine Squadron 17, Submarine Group 9, at Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Wash. Alaska sailed on her first missile deterrent patrol, manned by her Blue Crew, in the Pacific (7 December 1986-19 February 1987). Her Gold Crew carried out Patrol 2 (16 March-28 May 1987).

She completed an engineered overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. (1 May 2000-9 December 2001). The work included a Trident II D5 “backfit” that enabled Alaska to fire the improved version of the submarine launched ballistic missile. In addition, the overhaul upgraded her to shoot the Mk 48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) torpedo. Alaska had carried out 47 Trident I C4 and 12 Trident II D5 deterrent missile patrols when she sailed from Kitsap for the final time on 8 July 2006. The submarine subsequently completed a 27.5-month engineered refueling and overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Va., on 8 March 2009. Alaska shifted to Submarine Squadron 20, Submarine Group 10, at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., on 1 May 2009 - she arrived at Kings Bay on 1 April. On 28 April 2010, the Navy announced plans to convert living spaces on board Alaska to accommodate female crewmembers.


Alaska (SSBN-732), sunset

Alaska sails through the shallows of the Caribbean and a setting sun. (Petty Officer 2d Class Jonathan Miske, U.S. Navy Photograph, Undersea Warfare, Summer 2007, Vol. 9 No. 4, “Photo Contest Winners”).

Alaska (SSBN-732) iv 1986-120111-N-FG395-046

A curious sea gull investigates Alaska as she churns the water while returning from sea trials to Kings Bay, Ga., 11 January 2011. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James Kimber, U.S. Navy Photograph 120111-N-FG395-046, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Robert J. Cressman and Mark L. Evans


Published: Thu Jun 11 15:58:17 EDT 2015