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Exit 3 I-95s To: GA 40, to Harriet’s Bluff Creek, St Mary’s, and Kingsland, Georgia
Everyone brought their crowns, right? It’s time to put them on, because we’re now passing Kings Bay. Welcome to the last few exits in Georgia, a Bible loving area which happens to be the headquarters of Armageddon.
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is the east coast home to America’s Ohio Class submarines. According to the National Interest Magazine, the Ohio Class of nuclear powered submarines is the sole class of ballistic missile submarines currently in service with the United States Navy. Fourteen of the eighteen boats are configured to carry nuclear missiles, which, along with United States Air Force strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, constitute the so called nuclear deterrent triad of the United States. The remaining four subs have been converted to cruise missile submarines.
Why do Russia and China Fear America's Ohio-Class Submarines?
Well it is not complicated. Built in the 1980's, these boomers might be old, but they could wipe out an entire country in less than an hour. Prowling the oceans today , the fourteen Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines carry onboard upwards of half of the United States’ nuclear arsenal. If you do the math, the Ohio-class boats may be the most destructive weapon system created by humankind.
Each of the four hundred and fifty foot or one hundred fifty meter long vessels can carry 24 Trident Two submarine launched ballistic missiles.
Depending on the load, these babies can be fired from underwater to strike at targets more than seven thousand miles away. As a Trident Two re-enters the atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 24, it splits into up to eight independent reentry vehicles, each with a 100 or 475 kiloton nuclear warhead. In short, a full salvo from an Ohio-class submarine—which can be launched in less than one minute—could unleash up to 192 nuclear warheads to wipe twenty-four cities off the map. Sweet huh?
The submarine’s nuclear reactor gives it virtually unlimited underwater endurance and the ability to maintain cruising speeds of twenty knots (twenty-three miles per hour). All the while these boomers produce very little noise. While other branches of the military may be deployed in reaction to the crisis of the day, all over the globe the nuclear submarines maintain a steady routine of patrols and communicate infrequently so as to remain as silent as possible. This makes them very tough to track.
Each Ohio class submarine has two crews of 154 officers and enlisted personnel. Cumulatively Submariners are known as Squids.
Each Sub's Squids are split into 2 crews designated Gold and Blue, who take turns departing on patrols that last an average of seventy to ninety days underwater—with the longest on record being 140 days by the USS Pennsylvania .
Make no mistake. This is a nightmarish weapon of the apocalypse. Luckily, the closest competitor to the Ohio class submarine is the Russia’s sole remaining Typhoon-class submarine, a larger vessel with twenty ballistic missile launch tubes.
In the event of a nuclear exchange, a boomer would likely receive its firing orders via Very Low Frequency radio transmission. While a submarine’s missiles are not pre targeted, like those in fixed silos, they can be assigned coordinates quite rapidly.
The logic of nuclear deterrence is simple. While a first strike might wipe out a country’s land based missiles and nuclear bombers, it’s very difficult to track a ballistic-missile submarine patrolling quietly in the depths of the ocean—and there’s little hope of taking them all out in a first strike.
Thus, ironically ballistic missile submarines promise the unstoppable hand of nuclear retribution—and should deter any sane adversary from attempting a first strike or resorting to nuclear weapons at all.
Thankfully, we have yet to test the premise. But… At least that’s the theory!
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