By Lt. j.g. Chloe Morgan, Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division
Louisiana has played an important role since the early days of the U.S. Navy. New Orleans, the largest city of Louisiana, was the scene of Andrew Jackson’s great victory at the close of the War of 1812, in which small naval forces under Commodore David Patterson played a large role. Years later during the Civil War, Admiral David Farragut opened the southern Mississippi River to Union forces.
At least 32 ships have been named after the state of Louisiana, its cities, places and people. Four ships have proudly worn the state’s name, including the USS Louisiana (SSBN 743), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine commissioned in 1997. The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as an undetectable launch platform for intercontinental missiles. They are designed specifically for stealth and the precise delivery of nuclear warheads.
USS New Orleans (LPD 18) was commissioned at New Orleans in 2007. The ship’s crest features a white alligator, which is unique to the City of New Orleans and emphasizes the amphibious nature of New Orleans’ mission to embark, transport and land elements of a landing force.
The state can also boast the hometowns of heroes and leaders like retired Navy Captain Dominic Gorie. Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Gorie graduated the U.S. Naval Academy in 1979. Designated a Naval Aviator in 1981, he accumulated over 6,700 hours in more than 35 aircraft and has over 600 carrier landings. Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994, he is a veteran of four space flights.
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans, is a constant center of activity for air operations, ground operations, and a variety of family support services. The base hosts nine tenant commands, including the Naval Operational Support Center New Orleans.
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