Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT
Naval Submarine Base New London, nestled in the picturesque town of Groton, Connecticut, is a remarkable and strategically significant point of interest for history enthusiasts and military aficionados. This naval base has played a pivotal role in the United States Navy’s submarine force, making it an intriguing destination that offers a blend of history, technology, and maritime heritage. In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of this remarkable facility and explore its rich history, modern significance, and visitor attractions.
Naval Submarine Base New London, often referred to as SUBASE NLON, has a storied history dating back to its establishment in 1868. Initially known as the “Naval Station New London,” it served as a coaling and repair station for the U.S. Navy during the late 19th century. However, its destiny took a momentous turn with the advent of submarines in the early 20th century.
During World War I, the base gained prominence as a training hub for submarine crews and played a vital role in honing the skills of submariners who would go on to serve in the conflict. This marked the beginning of the base’s long-standing association with submarine operations.
Today, Naval Submarine Base New London is the primary East Coast homeport for the U.S. Navy’s fleet of attack submarines. It remains an essential hub for training, maintenance, and support for the Navy’s submarine force. The base is home to the Submarine School, where sailors undergo rigorous training in submarine operations, maintenance, and tactics. This ensures that the U.S. Navy maintains its edge in undersea warfare.
The base also hosts several submarines, serving as a testament to the Navy’s commitment to maritime security and global defense. Visitors can witness the submarines’ impressive scale and learn about their role in national security.
While the base primarily serves as a military installation, it offers a few unique opportunities for visitors to explore its rich maritime heritage.
Submarine Force Museum
Located just outside the base’s gates, the Submarine Force Museum is a must-visit attraction. It houses an impressive collection of submarine artifacts, historic vessels, and interactive exhibits. The highlight is the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine, which visitors can tour.
Historic Ship Nautilus & Submarine Force Library and Museum
Adjacent to the museum, you’ll find the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), now a National Historic Landmark. Step inside this groundbreaking vessel to get a firsthand look at the innovation that changed naval warfare forever.
Occasionally, Naval Submarine Base New London offers guided tours to the public, providing a rare opportunity to see parts of the base and gain insights into its daily operations. Check the base’s official website or inquire locally for tour availability.
Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT, is not only a crucial operational hub for the U.S. Navy but also a captivating destination for history buffs and those interested in the fascinating world of submarines. Whether you’re touring the Submarine Force Museum, exploring the USS Nautilus, or taking part in a guided base tour, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for the vital role this base has played in shaping naval history and ensuring the security of the United States.