ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque might be a desert, but that isn’t stopping the city’s Parks and Recreation department from bringing home a massive piece of the submarine named after New Mexico’s largest city. In the coming months, the City is planning to relocate the 54-ton sail of the now-decommissioned USS Albuquerque to the city itself.

Officially known as a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine, the USS Albuquerque was retired from U.S. Navy service about five years ago. In its time, the submarine cruised more than 500,000 nautical miles across every ocean between 1983 and 2015. At 362 feet in length, the USS Albuquerque made 19 deployments. It was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes, weighing 6,900 tons and capable of going 25 knots or more (that’s roughly 28 miles per hour.)

A conceptual rendering of what a future USS Albuquerque monument could look like. To be clear, this is not the final design, hence why its called a “concept.” (Photo Courtesy: CABQ)

For the last several years, the submarine has been sitting in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, where its undergoing dismantling in the Navy’s Ship and Submarine Recycling Program. That dismantling process has allowed for the City of Albuquerque to preserve a piece of the submarine for a future public monument.

The City is expected to receive the submarine’s 19-foot tall sail and fairwater planes. That huge piece also measures 33 feet wide and 26 feet long.

While no formal site has been picked, the city has an idea of what the monument could look like, providing a conceptual rendering of a possible future monument. The city is now asking the public for ideas on where the monument should go, via an online petition process on

As part of the nomination process, the city is asking people to submit their ideas. That process includes asking for a possible location, an explanation for that choice, and any suggestions for features that could be part of the monument. The city says it will evaluate all submissions through the public input period, lasting until September 16.

After the deadline, the Parks and Recreation Department will pick a “short-list” of potential sites. Then, a design team will prepare further conceptual renderings. In some respects, the U.S. Navy is expected to have a final say in the design process, as the Navy will review the city’s conceptual designs, then release the sail to the City of Albuquerque.

There’s no timeline for when the monument could take its final form. The City and a design team will “prepared construction plans for the permanent installation of the monument” after it obtains the sail.