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USS Kentucky scheduled to arrive at Bangor May 1

After years of preparation, the first Ohio-class submarines with upgraded D-5 nuclear missiles are scheduled to arrive at Subase Bangor in May and July.

The USS Kentucky and USS Pennsylvania previously were stationed at Kings Bay, Ga.

The Kentucky, with its blue crew on board, is scheduled to arrive May 1, according to Navy documents dated Friday, Feb. 22. The gold crew will follow Sept. 1. The Pennsylvania and both of its crews are scheduled to arrive July 1.

Two crews are assigned to each Ohio-class sub. The crews rotate between active and training status.

Submarine Group 9 spokesman Lt. Kevin Stephens said the base has been working for years to support the D-5 Trident 2 ballistic missiles. The new missiles are twice as heavy as the S-4 Trident missiles the eight SSBNs at Bangor carry.

“Once they get here we’ll be able to support them,” Stephens said.

Many of Bangor’s facilities were built to accommodate the larger missile during the 1970s, when the weapon still was being developed. The Navy spent $39 million in 1989 to update Bangor’s Delta Pier and storage facilities.

Coming with the two boats are 664 sailors and a total payroll of more than $32 million. Nearly 400 sailors also are expected to bring their families across the country.

The Bangor boats USS Alaska and USS Nevada currently are being converted to carry the Trident 2 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The USS Henry Jackson and USS Alabama will be converted at PSNS next.

“These boats were built with the D-5 in mind, though their missile tubes were altered for the smaller Trident 1 missile since the larger missile wasn’t ready yet,” Bangor spokesman Paul Taylor said.

The Pennsylvania and Kentucky are coming to Bangor as the four oldest Ohio-class boats at Bangor — Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Georgia — prepare to depart later this year for drydocks at PSNS and Norfolk, Va. They will be converted to carry conventional missiles and special operations troops.

The Florida and Georgia will then be assigned to Kings Bay, while Ohio and Michigan are slated to return to Bangor.

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