This Tri-Cities Park Features an Amazing Nuclear Submarine Sail
It was a fairly nice Sunday afternoon and we wanted to find a new place to take a weekend walk along the Columbia. After heading into Richland we decided to go out to WSU Tri-Cities. I knew there was a nice path on the shoreline, so off we went. We passed some nice condos at Willow Pointe and continued on towards the Pacific Northwest National Lab and Port of Benton office. That is where we spotted the Sub Sail.
It's quite a sight
I knew the USS Triton Nuclear Submarine Sail was out in that area, but we hadn't ever seen it. It is much larger than I thought it might be. This was an amazing piece of technology that had its maiden voyage in 1960. The 63rd anniversary of that journey is coming up on February 16th. The USS Triton, I later found out, was a radar picket sub.
The USS Triton was huge
Measuring in at nearly 450 feet, the USS Triton was equipped with radar gear designed to be a forward early warning detection submarine. Several of these subs together could form a barrier line not only to warn of a possible attack but also to guide fighter jets to intercept enemy planes. This barrier technique also has been used to thwart drug smugglers.
The Triton sailed around the world
The USS Triton served until 1967. It was scheduled to have an overhaul in 1967, but that did not happen. The US Navy canceled the plan due to the expense of running the twin nuclear reactors on board. USS Triton ended up in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. When it was constructed it was the largest nuclear sub in the world. It would become the second to be decommissioned. The sail is now part of the Port of Benton park in north Richland and it is definitely worth the trip.
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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher