Albuquerque (the Submarine) Comes to an End

Last week Errors of Enchantment called HB 252 a “silly billy,” since it would spend $125,000 “to educate the people of New Mexico about the missions of the nuclear-powered submarines USS New Mexico, SSN-779, and USS Santa Fe, SSN-763, and the effort to retire the USS Albuquerque, SSN-706,” as well as recognize “the state’s naval junior reserve officers training corps,” and lobby to “name a navy warship after Los Alamos county.”

In response, a helpful reader, who is also a retired naval officer, informed us that two “bases” of U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. exist in New Mexico — and if members are anything like the shipmates he had, “they would be more than delighted” to provide information to the public about the submarine force, “and would not need tax $$$ to do it.” Albuquerque’s base can be found here, while the White Sands unit is here. (Our reader also suggested the Naval Submarine League as another resource.)

As for the retirement of the Albuquerque, Naval Today recently reported that the boat, launched in 1982, was “decommissioned during a ceremony held at Keyport Undersea Museum.” At the event, Rear Adm. John Tammen noted that the Albuquerque “deployed 21 times to every corner of the globe, accumulating approximately 1.1 million nautical miles steamed, the equivalent of 52 global circumnavigations.”

Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean that taxpayers should be subsidizing it. The fascinating tales of the submariners who served aboard the New Mexico, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque deserve to be told, but individuals and non-government organizations are more than capable of doing the job.