The first USS Florida was a survey sloop on survey duty off of the south coast from 1824 to 1831. The second was a 214 foot wide sidewheel steamer, from 1861 to 1867, and was a unit of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron patrolling the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida during the US Civil War. Also during the Civil War there were at least two Confederate ships bearing the name, one being a 171 foot blockade runner and the other a 191 foot cruiser that captured 37 Union ships. Another Florida was a steam frigate originally known as Wampanoag, but renamed Florida in 1869, and sold in 1885. The next a 521 foot 21,000 ton battleship, commissioned in 1911. She was part of Battleship Division 9 during World War I, and served with the British Grand Fleet as a convoy. After the war, she was used as a training ship, but was scrapped under the London Naval Treaty of 1930. The current USS Florida (SSBN728) is the third of the Ohio-Class submarines.

The keel of the current USS Florida was laid on the US Bicentennial on July 4, 1976, at General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division. The ship had no name until the Secretary of the Navy assigned her the name Florida on January 19, 1981. The precommisioning unit was formed by the initial crew on July 8, 1980, while the first shipboard watches were stationed there on February 14, 1981. The ship was launched on November 14, 1981, and after a year of construction and testing the ship's nuclear reactor was taken critical on November 13, 1982. Crew moved onboard when the ship went into service on January 21, 1983, and the ship was delivered to the Navy on May 17, 1983, 43 days ahead of schedule. The ship was commissioned on June 18, 1983. The ship transited the Panama Canal the next February and arrived in Bangor, Washington on March 25, 1984. She completed her first strategic deterrent patrol on July 25, 1984 and as of November 1994 she has completed 38 of these patrols.

The USS Florida has won the Submarine Squadron Battle Efficiency awards in 1988, 1989, 1991, and 1999. In 1991 she was selected as the top ship in the Pacific Fleet when she recieved the Marjorie Sterrett Battle Ship Fund Award. In January 2000, the Florida Gold won the Engineering E, and in January 2001 she won the Battle E and the Engineering E.


info from the sub's (public domain) official site, http://www.florida.navy.mil/html/top.ssi

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