October 29, 2020 – Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite announced Oct. 28 that the newest Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine will be named in honor of the state of Wisconsin.
This will be the third Naval vessel to bear the state name and will carry the hull number SSBN-827.
“The Wisconsin namesake carries a great legacy that will undoubtedly be continued with our next Columbia class submarine,” said Braithwaite. “Following in the wake of the great battleship, this Wisconsin will serve as the first line of deterrence and defense in today’s era of Great Power Competition.”
USS Wisconsin (BB-9), an Illinois-class pre-dreadnought battleship, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 30th state. She was commissioned into the fleet in 1901 and served as the flagship of the Pacific fleet until 1903. Wisconsin operated in the Far East, with the Asiatic Fleet, before she returned to the United States in the autumn of 1906. In 1908, she joined the battleships of the Atlantic Fleet for the transpacific leg of the Great White Fleet. She was decommissioned in 1920.
The Iowa-class battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64) commissioned in April 1944, was the second ship to bear the name. Reaching the Pacific to serve in combat, she served at the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the final bombardments of the Japanese homelands. After the war, Wisconsin was briefly decommissioned only to be reactivated for the Korean War, serving until 1958. She was then recommissioned in 1988 and participated in the Persian Gulf War. In 1991, Wisconsin was again decommissioned. She currently serves as a museum battleship at Nauticus Berthing in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Columbia-class submarine, formerly known as the SSBN-X Future Follow-on Submarine, is a new class of nuclear submarines designed to replace the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. USS Wisconsin (SSBN 827) will be the second named Columbia-class submarine.
The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as an undetectable launch platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). They are designed specifically for stealth and the precise delivery of nuclear warheads.