Commander, Submarine Force
U.S. Atlantic Fleet
7958 Blandy Rd. Norfolk, VA 23551-2492
(757) 836-1650 FAX (757) 836-1355
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           6 JANUARY 1999            RELNO: 001-99


    The Norfolk-based submarine USS JAMES K. POLK (SSN 645) will held its inactivation ceremony Friday, January 8th at Naval Station Norfolk after nearly 33 years of service to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force.

    POLK was built by Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., and commissioned April 16, 1966. She was homeported in Charleston, S.C., thereafter.

    She was designed and placed into service as the 35th fleet ballistic missile submarine of the "41 for Freedom". Originally outfitted to carry 16 Polaris missiles, she later was outfitted with Poseidon missiles. In all, POLK completed 66 strategic deterrent patrols, returning from her last one in August of 1991.

    In March of 1994, POLK completed a 19-month conversion from ballistic missile submarine to attack/special warfare submarine at Newport News Shipbuilding. She then changed homeports to Norfolk where she has been a mainstay at Submarine Squadron SIX. As the only dual dry-deck shelter submarine in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, POLK has made three deployments to the Mediterranean Sea in support of national and NATO interests. In addition to numerous other training evolutions, POLK was a major participant in the largest NATO exercises conducted in 1996 and in 1998.

    Guest speaker for the event was be CAPT. Robert M. Douglass, U.S. Navy (Ret.), the first commanding officer of the Gold crew during the submarine’s ballistic missile career. She is currently commanded by CDR Joseph E. Johannes Jr., a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.