The fourth U.S. Navy ship named for a city in Maryland, located on the shores of the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay. It is the capital of Maryland and the county seat for Anne Arundel County. The United States Naval Academy is located in Annapolis. The first Annapolis (Gunboat No. 10), was reclassified to a patrol gunboat (PG-10) on 17 July 1920, and served (with some interruptions) from 1897–1940. The second Annapolis, a patrol escort (PF-15), served from 1944–1946. Gilbert Islands, an escort aircraft carrier (CVE-107), was reclassified to a major communications relay ship (AGMR-1) on 1 June 1963, renamed Annapolis on 22 June 1963, and served from 1945–1976.
(SSN-760: displacement 6,927; length 362'; beam 33'; draft 31'; speed 25 knots; complement 110; armament 12 Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes for UGM-109 Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and UGM-84 Harpoon submarine launched anti-ship missiles, and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 torpedoes; class Los Angeles)
The fourth Annapolis (SSN-760) was laid down on 15 June 1988 at Groton, Conn., by General Dynamics Electric Boat; launched on 18 May 1991; sponsored by Mrs. Myra F. Kauderer, wife of Vice Admiral Bernard M. Kauderer, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet; and was commissioned on 11 April 1992 at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., Cmdr. Richard J. Severinghaus in command.
Dark blue and gold are the traditional colors associated with the Navy; red is emblematic of valor and action. The heraldic dolphins, diving into the marine depths, symbolize underwater speed and intelligence. The naval sword suggests the numeral “1”, emphasizing that the fourth Annapolis is the first in an all nuclear submarine force. The sword’s upright position depicts the attack submarine’s military readiness and vertical launch weapons.
The naval crown, which is associated with distinguished sailors and towns with naval traditions, is charged with a heraldic thistle and rose (referring to a Scottish and English heritage), symbolizing the City of Annapolis and its naval traditions. The stars commemorate the eight battle stars the third Annapolis earned for her service during the Vietnam War. Three major landmarks of the Annapolis skyline highlight the city for which the submarine is named. The trident symbolizes sea power and naval weaponry. Each trident has three tines recalling the three previous ships named Annapolis. They are crossed to indicate the submarine’s strength, cooperation, and cross-capabilities.
Red, white, and blue are the United States’ national colors and depict the principles of freedom upon which the country was founded, and which Annapolis defends.
Annapolis deployed with the George Washington (CVN-73) Carrier Battle Group to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, from 3 October 1997–3 April 1998. A crisis erupted with the Iraqis in November, and Annapolis passed southward through the Suez Canal on 16 November, operating in the Red Sea as a UGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) strike submarine. A CBS news crew embarked on board from 28–30 November, and she then moored at Bahrain from 4–6 December. Annapolis resumed operations, and an ABC news crew embarked from 7–9 December. The boat and her seasoned crew stayed at sea until 22 December, and then operated intermittently in the region into the New Year. Attack submarine Providence (SSN-719) relieved Annapolis on 19 and 20 March 1998, and she came about for home.
Annapolis and Helena (SSN-725), Cmdr. Daniel J. Brunk in command, took part in Ice Exercise (Icex) 2009, in the Beaufort Sea, in the Arctic Ocean about 200 miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (28 February–28 April 2009). The Navy’s Director of Submarine Warfare (OpNav N87), together with the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, located at Naval Base Point Loma, Calif., planned and coordinated Icex 2009. A temporary tracking range, consisting of a small village constructed and operated by the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory, was built onto the ice to support the exercise.
A detachment of British Royal Navy (RN) officers also deployed to the camp, and their deployment proved a poignant one because of the loss of two RN sailors during Icex 2007. British attack submarine Tireless (S.88) had operated with Alexandria (SSN-757) during that exercise, but an explosion on board Tireless on 21 March 2007 killed Leading Operator Mechanic Paul McCann, RN, and Operator Maintainer 2 Anthony Huntrod, RN. On 21 March 2009, the people at the camp and on board Helena and Annapolis held a moment of silence in honor of McCann and Huntrod. Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, visited the camp on 21 and 22 March.
“The Arctic is important to the nation and the Navy because it really is a maritime domain,” Roughead explained. “We have some very fundamental interests — security interests — in the Arctic region. We've been here operating in this part of the world for a long time.
The admiral further elaborated: “It gives us the opportunity to test our combat systems, our navigation systems, our communication systems and just what it’s like to operate in this very challenging environment. By coming up here, being part of not just a Navy initiative but a scientific initiative, it really helps out not just the Navy but other communities as well.”
Detailed history under construction.
Mark L. Evans
1 September 2015