Now This Is Namesake Support
USS Georgia (SSGN 729) marked her return to service last week with a show of support from her namesake state that is nearly unprecedented. I was most impressed with the initiative that took a Georgia state flag through all 159 counties for subsequent presentation to the ship.
I think a good relationship between a submarine and her namesake can be a great thing for the morale of a crew. The Georgia's CO was my first XO on PCU Connecticut (SSN 22) when she was being built at EB, and I know he learned a lot there about how to make the namesake state excited about having their own submarine.
One advantage of being stationed in the state for which you're named -- the public will buy lots of ballcaps and t-shirts from you, which results in a windfall for your Rec Fund. On Connecticut, we gave away trips and nice TVs as door prizes at the ship's parties; Georgia should be able to do the same if they handle their Ship's Store correctly. I recommend they forget about training during off-crew and just send the guys out to sell shirts at the mall.
Update 2339 02 April 2008: Here's some video of the Return To Service ceremony.