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Navy's Strategic Submarine Forces Awarded Meritorious Unit CommendationFrom Commander, Submarine Forces Public Affairs
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert signed the award, which is expected to be presented July 20 at ceremonies in Bangor, Wash., and Kings Bay, Ga., where the boomers are homeported, a spokeswoman said.
Sailors who served aboard one of the 14 ballistic-missile submarines from July 16, 2007, to Jan. 28, 2011, will be eligible to wear the midlevel unit commendation, a unit award equivalent to the Bronze Star.
During this time frame, these 14 boats "conducted over 119 deterrent patrols," said Submarine Force spokeswoman Cmdr. Monica Rousselow, who estimated 4,500 sailors are in the boomer fleet.
In addition to these boomers, sailors assigned to Submarine Groups 9 and 10, Submarine Squadrons 17 and 20, and Naval Submarine Support Centers Bangor and Kings Bay are also eligible to wear the MUC.
"Task Force 134 and 144 demonstrated high standards in day-to-day operations, in exercises, in training and every time they went to sea," according to the citation, referring to the Bangor and Kings Bay task forces, respectively. Given the highly classified nature of strategic missions, the citation doesn't provide any more details.
In general terms, boomers deploy for three months at a time to positions around the globe, cloaked and ready to launch nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, a credible and fearsome threat designed to give other nations pause before attacking the U.S.
The awards presentation will coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the service's first submerged launch of a ballistic missile.