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Long County Celebrates USS Georgia's Return to Service
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LUDOWICI -- Wednesday, dignitaries from Ludowici and Long County, came out to celebrate the return to service of the USS Georgia submarine.  
County commissioners and city aldermen were just a few of the group of 50 who took part in the ceremony where a proclamation honoring the vessel was presented. It had been signed earlier by the local governing bodies.
County commission Chairman Randy Wilson and Ludowici Mayor Myrtice Warren signed the Georgia State Flag Logbook/Georgia State Flag that traveled to every county in Georgia.
Long County was number 157 of the 159 counties to sign the logbook.
Executive Director of the Coastal Rural Development Council Allen Burns III was the keynote speaker and began the celebration by saying, "First of all this is a great turnout for Long County, and by all of you being here it shows you are supportive of all who are serving to protect our freedoms."
He added, "I recently toured the sub and talked to many of the people serving on it. Their level of dedication is 100 percent to this country, and the honoring of them and the ship is something that they will be excited about for years to come."
On Friday in Camden County, a return to service ceremony was held at the Naval Submarine Base on Kings Bay, where Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a state proclamation honoring the ship.  At that ceremony, Perdue presented the Georgia flag, which had traveled all over the state, to the submarine's commanding officer.
In February, the USS Georgia, which was originally a ballistic missile submarine, completed an extensive refueling overhaul, and modernization and conversion process to become a guided missile submarine.
The submarine was originally commissioned in 1984, with a crew of 140 men.  The ship has been earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation twice and the Comsubron Seventeen Battle Efficiency Award.
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