The USS Alabama SSBN 731 is 20 years old today. That's about half way through the expected life of a Trident submarine hull. I found a couple of items from that day to share.
First is the commissioning program book below. It's about 20 pages and includes description of the commissioning of the ship, history of other ships named after the state of Alabama, individual photos of crew members and profiles on the Commissioning Officials and each crews Senior Officers and Enlisted. I've only included the cover and program page.
Commissioning Program Cover
Commissioning Program Agenda (Source: a dusty sea bag in the attic)
The second is this souvenir envelop from that day.
Commissioning Souvenir Envelop (Source: that same sea bag)
The Commissioning of a ship is when it officially becomes a "United States Ship" and can hold the prefix "USS". Until that time it can only be called a Precomm Unit (such as precomm unit Alabama) or by it's hull number (such as the 731 boat).
The inside cover of the commissioning program also has this description.
The Commissioning ceremony marks the acceptance of a ship as a unit of operating forces of the United States Navy. At the moment the commission pennant is broken, USS ALABAMA (SSBN731) becomes the responsibility of the Commanding Officer, who, together with the ship's officers and men, has the duty of making and keeping her ready for any service required by our nation, whether we be at peace or at war.
Before Commissioning the Officers and Crew work hard to put the ship through a series of builder trials and acceptance testing, as shown in this Alpha Trials photo. We did our sea trails in mid winter hence the orange foul whether gear on the bridge.
The Alabama on Alpha Trials (Source: US Navy Photo)
The USS Alabama has served the United States Navy well for the past 20 years and will do so for perhaps another 20.
The Official State and Ship's Motto"AUDEMUS JURA NOSTRA DEFENDERE"
Lubber's Line - USS Alabama (Plankowner)