Welcome

Welcome to USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commissioning Committee web site. USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the 15th Virginia Class submarine and completed construction at Electric Boat shipyard and has been delivered to the Navy. After completing shakedown operations, it is expected to be commissioned on March 17th, 2018. Our committee's purposes are to promote awareness within the state, provide support for the crew, and to help organize and raise money for the events surrounding commissioning.

14. November 2017 · Comments Off on PCU Colorado (SSN 788) Holds Change of Command · Categories: KeyEvent

It was a beautiful fall day in Groton on November 3rd, as CDR Reed Koepp relieved CDR Ken Franklin as Commanding Officer, PCU Colorado (SSN 788) in the Navy’s traditional ceremony at the Naval Submarine Base.

Commander Franklin is the first Commanding Officer of Colorado, having reported with the first major increment of the crew in the fall of 2014 when the boat was just parts. He has seen the boat all through construction, sea trials and delivery to the Navy. He and his wife Toni will move to Naples, Italy where Commander Franklin will report as Deputy Commander of Task Force 69, which is responsible for all US submarine operations in the Mediterranean. Commander Franklin is a native of Plant City, Florida.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning and, after graduation from Florida State University, was Commissioned in 1996. He has been selected for promotion to the rank of Captain.

Ship’s Sponsor, Annie Mabus was present at the ceremony and gave some heartfelt remarks. She praised Commander Franklin for his tour and for making her feel welcome as a part of the the  Colorado family. She welcomed fellow Mississippian Commander Koepp as the new Commanding Officer. The principal speaker at the ceremony was Captain John Tolliver, Deputy Director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs. Captain Tolliver has been a mentor to Commander Franklin for many years of his naval career.

In his remarks Commander Franklin thanked the crew for their hard work and dedication in building the boat from scratch and welcomed Commander Koepp and his wife, Aimee, to Colorado. For his tour aboard Colorado, Commander Franklin was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Commodore of Submarine Squadron 4, Captain Brian Sittlow.

After the ceremony the boat was open for visiting. A reception was held at the Officer’s Club on the base with a cake decorated with the Ship’s Crest. Commander Franklin described the story of the ship’s crest contest and how it was won by one of the officers now on board, Lieutenant Mike Nielsen.

Commander Koepp reports to Colorado from Executive Officer of Nuclear Power Training Unit, Charleston, South Carolina and is a graduate of Louisiana State University.

21. September 2017 · Comments Off on Colorado Delivered to the Navy · Categories: Construction, KeyEvent

Last week, PCU Colorado was at sea again for her third major trial, INSURV trial. During this period, the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey evaluates the material readiness of the submarine for the purpose of determining the quality of construction, compliance with specifications and Navy requirements, and to determine if builder responsible equipment is operating satisfactorily. Correcting some minor issues, Colorado was “delivered” to the Navy this morning, September 21st. This means that the construction period is complete and the Navy considers the ship operational.  The boat will enter a shakedown phase for the next several months and then reenter the shipyard for a Post Shakedown Availability where any material issues that arise during shakedown will be repaired.

We are hoping in the near future to get more pictures of the boat on sea trials to post.

31. August 2017 · Comments Off on Colorado Completes Initial Sea Trials · Categories: KeyEvent

PCU Colorado returned from sea trials on August 30 completing both the Alpha and Bravo trials. The first phase, Alpha Trials, lasted from 19th to the 22nd and included a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.The trials were directed by U.S. Navy Adm. James F. Caldwell Jr., Director – Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Also participating in the sea trials were Capt. Jeffrey Heydon, supervisor of shipbuilding in Groton; and Jeffrey S. Geiger, president of Electric Boat. 

PCU COLORADO underway on Alpha Trials, August 19, 2017. Photo by Electric Boat

The crew preformed extremely well testing the boat to it’s design limits. After an inport period, the boat will return to sea for an inspection with the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), which is the last major step before a ship is certified ready to be delivered to the Navy. Congratulations COLORADO!

Coincidentally, as SSN 788 completed her sea trials on August 30th, that day also marks 94 years since the commissioning of USS Colorado (BB-45). Their alumni association’s website notes:

“Thus in 1921, the third in the COLORADO lineage of fighting ships became the cynosure of international relations. The world saw the epitome of floating potency. Two years of fitting out elapsed between the 1921 launching of USS COLORADO (BB-45) and her commissioning on August 30, 1923. Captain Reginald Rowan Belknap (Annapolis ’91), veteran of the Spanish-American and World Wars, the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion, was ordered to command this newest addition the United States Fleet, the last such addition for many years in accordance with the Naval treaty.”

For more about BB-45 visit the USS Colorado Alumni Association  website.

Some additional pictures of COLORADO underway by Toni Franklin and Mary Keyes

22. July 2017 · Comments Off on Crew Moves Aboard. John Fielder Pictures Installed · Categories: KeyEvent, Other Event

On June 23rd  USS Colorado passed two significant milestones. First was Habitability milestone. That milestone means that the ship is acceptable for the crew to live on board and that the mess is now open. Earlier this week the pictures that John Fielder donated to the boat were installed in the crew’s mess area, so the ship is truly taking on the character of our state. The second milestone is “In Service” which means the crew is now responsible for the safety and security of the boat, damage control, and they man the in-port forward watches of Petty Officer of the Deck and other armed watchstanders. They will hold morning and evening colors and ringing on-board of senior officers (with the standard-issue bell for now).

These are significant achievements, one step closer to sea trials and to Commissioning!

Below are the John Fielder pictures installed in the Crew’s Mess and on the Serving Line.

06. January 2017 · Comments Off on USS Colorado Floats · Categories: KeyEvent

On December 29th COLORADO reached another milestone as the boat became waterborne. Previously rolled out of the Construction Hall after the Christening Ceremony and into the dry dock, the “Float off” was conducted the day before New Year’s Eve. Prior to flooding the dock, the shipyard held another mini-christening ceremony, with a bottle of sparkling wine broken over the fillet, the curved portion of the hull joining the sail.

In earlier days of course, submarines slid down the ways into the water at Christening. The size of modern U.S. submarines however makes that no longer possible.

Here are pictures of the Roll Out and Float Off courtesy of Electric Boat

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