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USS Georgia Flag signing ceremony coming to courthouse

A special flag signing ceremony is slated for Friday, Feb. 8, at the McDuffie County Courthouse to commemorate the return of the USS Georgia, a nuclear submarine, to its port in Kings Bay late next month.

McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton, along with other local and state officials, is expected to be on hand for the historical signing ceremony.

We feel it's an honor to be participating in this special flag signing ceremony, because it's a real part of our history in Georgia, said Mr. Newton. I'm really looking forward to it.

The public is invited to view the special signing ceremony at the courthouse.

Even Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has expressed overwhelming support of the USS Georgia Flag Project.

This is an exciting project, because it allows all Georgians to take pride in our armed forces, Gov. Perdue said in a recent press release. It is noteworthy that this tour allows all 159 Georgia counties to participate in welcoming the USS Georgia home.

In 1994, the submarine's future was jeopardized when the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review determined that the U.S. military had a surplus of Trident Submarines. At the time, there were 10 on the East Coast at Kings Bay, Ga. and eight on the West Coast at Bangor, Washington. It later was decided by the Nuclear Posture Review Committee that four of them were to be eliminated.

Officials with the U.S. Navy stepped in and decided that rather than have the submarines eliminated that they would simply convert them from strategic deterrence subs to precision strike and special operations force capable submarines.

The USS Georgia Flag Project committee is chaired by Sheila M. McNeill.

Our committee is working on a series of special events to show our appreciation for the dedicated service to our country by the men and women of the most powerful warship in the world - the USS Georgia, said Ms. McNeill, past national president of the Navy League of the United States.

A special presentation of the USS Georgia flag will be held on Friday, March 28, during a reuniting of it with the submarine in Kings Bay.

The USS Georgia, a Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, was first commissioned on Feb. 11, 1984, with Captain A.W. Kuester commanding the Blue Crew and Capt. M.P. Gray commanding the Gold Crew.

Web posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008

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