SECNAV Selects USS Wisconsin as Name of Second Columbia SSBN

An artist’s rendering of the future Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines. The 12 submarines of the Columbia class are a shipbuilding priority and will replace the Ohio-class submarines reaching maximum extended service life. U.S. Navy

ARLINGTON, Va. — The second Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) will be named for the state of Wisconsin, the secretary of the Navy said during an Oct. 28 webinar. 

In a discussion with retired Rear Adm. Frank Thorp IV, president and CEO of the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., Navy Secretary Kenneth J. Braithwaite took the opportunity to announce that the second new SSBN would be named USS Wisconsin (SSBN 827). 

The SSBN will be the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Wisconsin, the 30th state.  

The first USS Wisconsin (BB 9) was an Illinois-class pre-dreadnought battleship, commissioned in 1901. The ship served as flagship of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and later joined the U.S. Asiatic Fleet. It participated in the second leg of the Great White Fleet’s circumnavigation of the globe. It was put in reserve status in 1910 and became a training ship in 1912. BB 9 was decommissioned in May 1920 and scrapped.  

The second USS Wisconsin (BB 64), an Iowa-class battleship, was commissioned in April 1944. The battleship served in the Pacific Fleet in the last year of World War II, using its 16-inch guns for shelling enemy installations and its smaller guns to protect carrier task forces. The ship was decommissioned in 1948 but recommissioned in 1951 to serve in the Korean War, used to shell enemy positions in Korea. The ship was decommissioned for the second time in 1958. 

Thirty years later, as part of the Reagan Administration naval build-up, the Wisconsin was modernized with Tomahawk missiles and recommissioned in 1988. The ship served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, striking Iraqi targets. The Wisconsin was decommissioned for the last time in September 1991. The ship was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 2006 and in 2010 was donated to Norfolk, Virginia, as part of the Nauticus Museum.