Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Nevada IV (SSBN-733)


Nevada was admitted to the Union as the 36th state on 31 October 1864.

The first ship named Nevada, a screw frigate, was launched as Neshaminy on 5 October 1865, but was renamed Arizona on 15 May 1869 and Nevada on 12 August 1869. She served from 1866-1874. The second Nevada (Monitor No. 8) was laid down as Connecticut on 17 April 1899 but was renamed Nevada in January 1901 and Tonopah on 2 March 1909, and served from 1903-1918. The third Nevada (Battleship No. 36), served from 1916-1946.


(SSBN-733: displacement 16,808; 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 Nevada (SSBN-733) was laid down on 8 August 1983 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.; launched on 14 September 1985; sponsored by Mrs. Carol B. Laxalt, wife of Senator Paul D. Laxalt of Nevada; and commissioned at Groton, Conn., on 16 August 1986, Capt. Fredric W. Rohm (Blue Crew) and Capt. William C. Stone (Gold Crew) in command.

Nevada 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 test fired a Trident I C4 submarine launched ballistic missile during her shakedown on 30 September 1986. The Blue Crew moved to the boat’s new home port of Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Wash., and began off-crew training. The Gold Crew meanwhile sailed Nevada from Cape Canaveral, Fla., passing through the Panama Canal on 2 July 1987, and reached Bangor on 11 July. The Blue Crew then completed Patrol 1: the submarine’s first strategic deterrent patrol (27 August-6 December).

The Gold Crew gained the appellation of “Golden Shellbacks” on 30 August 1990 when they sailed Nevada across the intersection of the Equator and International Date Line (longitude of 180°) during Patrol 12 (13 August-13 November). The submarine completed an overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash. (1 February 2001-8 August 2002). The work included a Trident II D5 “backfit” that enabled Nevada to fire the improved version of the submarine launched ballistic missile. In addition, the submarine eventually upgraded to be able to shoot the Mk 48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) torpedo.

Nevada, Cmdr. Mark D. Behning, Gold Crew, in command, snagged the tow cable of tugboat Phyllis Dunlap while the submarine transited the Strait of Juan de Fuca submerged below a depth of 100 feet during Patrol 58, on 2 August 2006. The collision severed the tow line, and an empty cargo barge drifted free of Phyllis Dunlap’s tow, though was later recovered. Neither vessel reported casualties, but the damage to the submarine’s sail and to one of her fair-weather planes required emergent repairs costing $207,000. Nevada then (15 August-18 October) completed Patrol 58 including: refresher training; a tactical readiness evaluation; and Pacific Security Exercise 02-06: all scheduled prior to the accident.

Nevada (SSBN-733) III 1986-
The setting sun silhouettes Nevada as she glides through the still waters of the Pacific. (Undated U.S. Navy Photograph, Nevada (SSBN-733) website).

Nevada operates out of Bangor.

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

18 June 2014

Published: Wed Aug 12 15:36:12 EDT 2015