Just like its officials describe it, Naval Submarine Base New London is the capital of the world when it comes to such machines. At the same time, it is often referred to as the home of the strongest submarine force. The fact is that this military base is the most important submarine base the United States Navy controls. The base is named after its location. It was established in the southeastern corner of Connecticut, close to New London.
The history of Submarine Base New London begins in 1868. It is one of the oldest military bases the US Navy operates. The local authorities in Connecticut gave the US Navy about 0.5 square kilometers to develop a new naval base. The funds were null, as the government was going through a harsh financial time. Therefore, the base became functional in 1872 only. However, it only had three buildings, so there was nothing special about it. During its first years, finding a purpose for such a small base was very hard. The lack of funds didn’t give it the possibility to expand and advance, therefore it was turned into a coaling base.
In 1915, the first five submarines reached the destination. One of them was Ozark. The times were harsh as World War I drew the world in a very complicated situation. There were severe fights taking place in the Atlantic, not to mention about Europe. One year later, multiple submarines were “driven” to the station. With a relatively decent amount of submarines and crafts, the base was finally turned into a sub base. That is when it became the premiere base of the US Navy in a matter of submarines. Soon after World War I reached to an end, the authorities found the funds to improve the status of the facility. Multiple training sites and schools were built on site, so the place finally got to deserve the name and reputation it had.
The first nuclear machine USS Nautilus joined the station in 1954. It was declared to be a National Historic Landmark around three decades later. Today, it is hosted close to the main gate. The civilians are free to visit it every day except for Tuesdays.
In 2005, Submarine Base New London was among the subjects of the BRAC – Base Realignment and Closure – commission. The authorities decided it was no longer that useful, so they planned to close it down. However, when it came to voting, the decision was canceled, therefore the base remained alive and still operating. There are around fifteen different ships hosted on site. They are split in two categories – Virginia class submarines and Los Angeles class submarines.
There are no more than ten permanent units at Submarine Base New London, including the Submarine Learning Center, the Naval Branch Health Clinic, the Naval Submarine School and the Commander Submarine Group 2. The Naval Undersea Medical Institute is just as important. Aside from these main units, there are plenty of temporary tenants as well, but their role is not very significant.