U.S.S. Ohio among Navy's most feared subs
by Sabrina Salas Matanane, KUAM News
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
It's one big, lean, mean machine. And described as the U.S. Navy's newest and most lethal platform, the U.S.S. Ohio is the lead ship in its class of trident ballistic missile submarines and the first of four to have been selected to be converted into a conventional land attack and special operations platform. Lieutenant Commander Rich Massie is the commanding officer of the Ohio, and says, "This submarine will operate in and out of Guam; basically from here forward both us and our sister ship, the U.S.S. Michigan, will be operating in the Western Pacific from this point onward."
With a price tag of about a billion dollars, unlike other subs the Ohio is equipped to do much more than her sisters at sea. "We can accomplish any of the standard missions that any of the submarines do," noted Massie. "We also have the unique capability of being able to carry special operations forces." Also known as the "Blue Crew", the Ohio carries an assortment of missiles and manpower and is virtually undetectable undersea.
Reportedly from the Pacific Ocean it can hit targets in North Korea and from the Indian Ocean anywhere in Afghanistan. And in addition to its crew of 160, the Ohio also has the capability of carrying out special ops with a contingent of the elite Navy SEALs. Massie continued, "We have 65 extra bunks so we can carry a soft force special operations force. It's that big for them to be able to conduct covert and clandestine operations that their capable brings a huge capability to the war on terror."
The U.S.S. Ohio will be conducting training missions in the Pacific with stops here in Guam and recently in South Korea. She's homeported in Bangor, Washington.