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State showing support for nuclear sub
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ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue and the USS Georgia Return to Service Committee Monday announced an effort to keep a nuclear submarine at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
The USS Georgia Flag Project will take the Georgia state flag into all 159 Georgia counties. The flag is traveling across the state, so everyone may participate in welcoming the USS Georgia home. March 28, the flag will reunite with the Submarine in Kings Bay.
"This is an exciting project because it allows all Georgians to take pride in our armed forces," Perdue said. "It is noteworthy that this tour allows all 159 Georgia counties to participate in welcoming the USS Georgia home."
The submarine's future was jeopardized in 1994 when the Nuclear Posture Review determined that the U.S. military had a surplus of Trident Submarines, 10 on the East Coast at Kings Bay and eight on the West Coast at Bangor, WA. The review committee decided that four of the 18 submarines would be eliminated.
This sparked the U.S. Navy to keep in service the four submarines and convert them from strategic deterrence submarines to a precision strike and special operation force capable submarine.
"We have worked diligently with the 16 Georgia Regional Development Centers in planning this unprecedented project to take the Georgia State Flag on a trip across the entire state and into all 159 Georgia counties," said Don Giles (Captain, U.S. Navy Ret.), Navy League member and RTS Committee Flag Project Coordinator. "The response at scheduled meetings with county commissioners in every county has been enthusiastic. To date, attendees at the first 40 counties ceremonial events reveal that true patriotism is alive in Georgia and that Georgians are truly supportive of the men and women who serve in our great Navy and in all our uniformed services."
Giles has worked with the Georgia RDCs  to plan the project.  The flag is to be presented by Perdue to the commanding officer of the USS Georgia at the Return to Service Ceremony in Kings Bay.
Committee chairwoman, Sheila M. McNeill, a past national president of the Navy League of the United States said, "It is very rare to have a namesake ship home-ported in its home state."
The USS Georgia is 560 feet in length, displaces more than 18,000 tons submerged and can carry a crew of 15 officers, 139 enlisted crew members and up to 66 Special Operations Forces for a sustained, long endurance deployment.
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