21 March 2017
U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall introduced a resolution Tuesday urging the Secretary of the Navy to name the next nuclear-powered submarine of the U.S. Navy “USS Los Alamos” to honor and recognize Los Alamos residents contributions to the Navy.
“Los Alamos National Laboratory employs some of the best and brightest minds in the country and, for nearly 75 years, has been indispensable to our national security and global stability,” said Heinrich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Naming the next nuclear-powered submarine USS Los Alamos will recognize and continue to forge the longstanding relationship between the Navy and the entire Los Alamos community.”
“Los Alamos and the United States Navy have maintained a strong bond since the dawn of the nuclear age. It is a bond that has strengthened our national security and helped bolster science and technology in New Mexico and around the world. A submarine named USS Los Alamos would speak to this strong history and would be a formidable force when underway,” Udall said. “Los Alamos National Lab plays an essential role in combatting existing and emerging threats to our security and in strengthening New Mexico’s economy. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, I will keep fighting for LANL to receive the support and resources it needs to fulfill its essential mission for New Mexico and the United States.”
Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Since its founding, LANL has played a critical role in national and international security, research, and science.
Los Alamos residents working on the Manhattan Project, many of whom were U.S. Navy personnel, helped bring about the end of World War II.
LANL later designed, tested, and certified much of the nation’s nuclear deterrent and continues to ensure the annual certification of the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Work in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project also provided the technical understanding in nuclear energy that led to the Naval Propulsion Program.
The community in New Mexico has strongly supported recognition of the contributions that residents of Los Alamos have made to the Navy. The USS Los Alamos Commissioning Committee has led an ongoing community effort to name a submarine the USS Los Alamos.
In December 2016, Heinrich facilitated and hosted a meeting between the USS Los Alamos Committee and Navy Leadership to advocate for a future USS Los Alamos.
"The USS Los Alamos Commissioning Committee would like to express its gratitude for the support of Senators Heinrich and Udall," said Committee Chair Jim Nesmith. "We believe this resolution will clearly demonstrate to the Secretary of the Navy that Congress understands the historical and ongoing connection between Los Alamos and the U.S. Navy, and strongly supports naming of a submarine the USS Los Alamos."
“Naming a nuclear submarine USS Los Alamos will remind the fighting crew of the world-altering history that was created in Los Alamos and of its continuing contributions that have so strengthened the United States Navy ever since,” said Tom Gutierrez, president of the New Mexico Council of the Navy League of the United States. “This resolution will make evident to the Secretary of the Navy the enthusiastic support and deep understanding of the Congress of the United States of the importance of Los Alamos in today’s world.”
Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Director, Nancy Partridge, highlighted the economic impact this would have in the community, stating, “Naming a submarine the USS Los Alamos will recognize the long history of our community’s work on behalf of the Navy, and Los Alamos tourism and commerce will benefit greatly from the opportunity to celebrate this relationship.”
Last year, the New Mexico Congressional delegation sent a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus supporting the citizens-based initiative requesting the designation of a future nuclear-powered submarine as the USS Los Alamos.
Here is the full text of the resolution:
Expressing the sense of Congress that the Secretary of the Navy should name the next nuclear powered submarine of the United States Navy the ''USS Los Alamos''.
Whereas the people of Los Alamos and the Navy have a 74-year relationship that continues from the Manhattan Project through the creation of a nuclear Navy and into the current ocean-borne leg of the strategic nuclear triad of the United States;
Whereas the contributions of the people of Los Alamos and surrounding communities allowed the Navy to keep its offensive edge from World War II, through the Cold War, continuing to the emerging conflicts as of the date of adoption of this resolution;
Whereas Captain “Deke” Parsons was one of the first residents of Los Alamos and, along with Laureate Ramsey, oversaw the safe delivery, assembly and loading of the nuclear bomb that led to the surrender of Japan in World War II;
Whereas the people of Los Alamos and surrounding communities played a critical role in designing the nuclear portion of the first nuclear weapon to enter the arsenal of the Navy, known as the Regulus, along with atomic depth bombs, torpedoes, rockets, and even next generation weapon systems like the B61-12 precision-guided nuclear bomb;
Whereas the people of Los Alamos designed the warheads that armed the first generation Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles of the Navy and the follow-on Trident II missile warheads used by the Navy;
Whereas the research into nuclear energy conducted by Los Alamos during World War II advanced the technical basis for the development of the nuclear propulsion systems of the Navy used aboard Los Angeles, Seawolf, Ohio, and Virginia Class submarines along with multiple naval aircraft carriers today;
Whereas the people of Los Alamos and Los Alamos National Laboratory host United States Naval Academy midshipmen every year to provide hands-on scientific and engineering experience working to solve real world challenges in national security, thereby directly contributing to the development of future Navy leadership;
Whereas the people of Los Alamos carry the solemn responsibility to assess the sea-based nuclear deterrent carried aboard Navy fleet ballistic missile submarines;
Whereas naming a submarine Los Alamos will recognize and continue to forge the longstanding relationship between the Navy and Los Alamos;
Whereas the year 2018 will mark the 75th anniversary of Los Alamos National Laboratory; and
Whereas the distinctive service and contributions from the people of Los Alamos to the Navy merits naming a vessel that embodies the heritage, service, fidelity, and achievements of the residents of Los Alamos and surrounding communities in partnership with the United States Navy;
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of the Navy should name the next nuclear powered submarine of the United States Navy as the “USS Los Alamos.”