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Tulsan to Lead USS Oklahoma Commissioning Committee

Randy Krehbiel

2 min read

Jun 12

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A photo illustration shows the future Virginia-class attack submarine USS Oklahoma.

Courtesy, U.S. Navy Mass Communications Spc. Paul L. Archer


Leadership of the commissioning committee for the new USS Oklahoma

now under construction was announced Tuesday by Gov. Kevin Stitt.


Tulsan Rocky Goins, a 1984 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, chairs the committee

responsible for activities surrounding the nuclear submarine’s commissioning

ceremony, tentatively scheduled for mid-2027.


SSN-802 will be the first Navy vessel to carry the state’s name since the battleship

Oklahoma sank during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.


“Not only will this submarine represent the patriotic, God-fearing culture of

Oklahoma, but it will symbolize our commitment to innovation, security, and the men

and women who protect our country,” Stitt said in a press release.


Goins said one goal of the committee is to develop education opportunities for crew

members.


“It is difficult for young sailors to further their educations when they may be

underwater for months at a time without internet,” Goins said in a press release. “We

have had initial and productive conversations with Oklahoma Chancellor (of Higher

Education) Allison Garrett and Secretary of Education Nellie Sanders to see if our Oklahoma colleges can develop programs that our sailors can take with them on their

cruise to further their development. This could be a game changer for them if we can

create a program which the Navy will approve.”


Other committee members include Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs

Director and retired Admiral Greg Slavonic, retired Navy Commander Tucker

McHugh, members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, Tulsa Mayor G.T.

Bynum and former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.


Ship sponsor will be Mary “Molly” Slavonic of Oklahoma City.


The Virginia Class attack submarine’s keel was laid in August at General Dynamics

Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. Christening is expected in late 2025 or early

2026, followed by a year of sea trials.


The boat will carry Tomahawk missiles and MK48 torpedoes, with a crew of 132

sailors and 18 officers.


“The citizens of Oklahoma should take pride in knowing the U.S. Navy decided after

80 years to have another navy vessel named ‘Oklahoma,’” said Greg Slavonic. “The

new Oklahoma submarine will project power, keep our sea lanes open and ensure

freedom for every Oklahoman and our nation.”