Tag Archives: Los Angeles Class

“Red October” submarine returns to Connecticut from last deployment

USS Dallas

USS Dallas

The submarine that starred in “The Hunt for Red October,” the USS Dallas, returned from its last overseas deployment Monday. Next year, after 33 years in the fleet, the Dallas will be inactivated.

Tom Clancy’s Cold War thriller made the Dallas famous, but in Navy circles it is better known for being the first attack submarine to carry a dry-deck shelter, which houses a vehicle for launching and recovering special operations forces.

“Of all the submarines that would be finishing up their service life, there are a couple out there that people know by name, and Dallas is one of them,” said Capt. David A. Roberts, who commanded Dallas from 2007 to 2009. “It kind of adds to the moment. ‘The Hunt for Red October’ submarine we all know and love from the movies is going to be finishing up its service life soon.”

But, Roberts said, he always tells people who ask about the Dallas that it has “done a lot more than just being in the movies.”

“Think about how the world has changed,” said Roberts, who now leads the Submarine Learning Center. “The missions Dallas was built for initially back then, in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, are so much different than in 2013. And she has stood the test of time and been able to keep step with the changing world, the challenging world.”

The Dallas (SSN 700) returned to the Naval Submarine Base on Monday after operating in Europe and the Middle East and traveling more than 34,000 miles during nearly seven months at sea.

While all deployments are memorable, Cmdr. Jack Houdeshell, the current commanding officer of the Dallas, said the last deployment comes second only to the maiden deployment for a submarine.

And on this deployment, Houdeshell added, the crew and the ship “showed the world what we can still do.”

The Dallas will continue to support training and other missions until September, when the preparations begin in earnest for the decommissioning, Houdeshell said.

One of 42 Los Angeles-class attack submarines remaining in the fleet, the Dallas was commissioned in 1981 as the seventh member in a class of 61 submarines. It has deployed to every operational theater around the world ever since.

The submarine circumnavigated the globe and transited the Panama Canal in 1984 and participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm in the early 1990s.

Master Chief Electronics Technician Tomas A. Garcia, who was the chief of the boat on Dallas from 2010 to 2012, said the Dallas was known for delivering Navy SEALs, but the equipment was removed shortly before he reported aboard. Guided-missile submarines and some Virginia-class submarines carry the dry-deck shelters now, he added.

Roberts, Houdeshell and Garcia all said serving aboard Dallas was the highlight of their careers.

Garcia, a Texas native who is now the department master chief for Basic Enlisted Submarine School, led about 100 Naval Submarine School students to the pier on Monday so they could attend a submarine homecoming for the first time.

“There is no better way for them to really get a full appreciation for what it means to deploy on a submarine,” Garcia said.

Seeing the families and feeling the excitement of the homecoming, Garcia added, “really drives home” the importance of the submarine force’s missions and of the family support at home. Garcia said he also watched “The Hunt for Red October” with his family on Sunday night to celebrate the Dallas’ impending arrival.

Seaman Jose Cruz, 19, cheered “Hooyah, Dallas” with his classmates as the Dallas arrived next to the pier. Cruz said he felt as if he was being welcomed into the traditions of the submarine force.

“For all of us,” he said, “this will be something to remember.”

Houdeshell said Monday was an emotional day because he was thrilled to see his family and see the sailors reunited with their families, especially in time for Thanksgiving, but he also knew that after he brought his ship in “she’s not going to go out and do it again.”

“I think the real measure of the Dallas is the crews that served on the Dallas and have gone out throughout the fleet,” he said. “Even when the ship is gone you will still have the Dallas spirit out in the fleet from the sailors that served on board.”

The submarine itself may live on too, as a centerpiece for a maritime museum. A nonprofit foundation, the Dallas Maritime Museum Foundation, plans to build a museum featuring Navy ships and other vessels named after the city.

“As much as I hate to see my old ship eventually be decommissioned,” Roberts said, “I think memorializing her in Dallas would be a perfect ending to a great career.”

Source – New Haven Register

South Korea, U.S. hold submarine drill in Yellow Sea

South Korea and the United States on Monday began an anti-submarine drill in the tensely guarded western sea as part of regular exercises amid high tensions with North Korea, military officials said.
The anti-submarine warfare exercise, which lasts until Friday, is the second in a planned series of this year’s combined military maneuvers following the last one in February.

The joint naval drill mobilizes a nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class submarine, Aegis destroyers, P-3C maritime surveillance aircrafts deployed from U.S. bases as well as South Korean destroyers, submarines and maritime aircrafts, military officials said.

“It is part of an annual routine drill held to prepare against an adversary’s submarine infiltration,” a military official said, requesting anonymity.

The latest military training comes after the two allies completed their two-month-long Foal Eagle exercise last week, amid high inter-Korean tensions due to Pyongyang’s warlike threats against Seoul and Washington.

On Sunday, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency condemned the upcoming naval drill, saying the fate of a joint industrial zone in the North hinges on Seoul.

Claiming a 97,000-ton Nimitz-class nuclear powered super carrier is expected to join the training, a spokesman for the Policy Department of the National Defense Commission called on Seoul to stop “hostile acts and military provocations” if it wants to normalize the suspended Kaesong Industrial Zone.

In response to Pyongyang’s call to stop military training to resume inter-Korean talks, Seoul’s defense ministry on Monday vowed not to give in to Pyongyang’s demands.

“It is inappropriate that the North is demanding the cancellation of South Korea-U.S. joint drills by linking it with the Kaesong Industrial Complex,” defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a briefing. “As the drills are designed to defend against North Korean provocations, they cannot be stopped.”

“As long as the North maintains its hostile stance, the joint drills will continue,” Kim said.

Although Pyongyang has routinely called the annual training a rehearsal for a northward invasion, its rhetoric turned more hostile this year under young leader Kim Jong-un, even threatening nuclear strikes against the South and the U.S.

According to the U.S. Navy’s website, the Nimitz Strike Group, consisting of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and guided-missile destroyers and cruisers, arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet on May 3.

The Nimitz Strike Group will conduct exercises and port visits to enhance maritime partnerships and promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region along with its allies, the U.S. Navy said.

Seoul’s defense ministry didn’t confirm the participation of the U.S. carrier, noting consultations are currently underway between the two sides.

North Korea has a large fleet of submarines, and one of them is blamed for torpedoing the South Korean warship Cheonan in the Yellow Sea in March 2010, killing 46 sailors.

About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty.

Submarine USS Boise wins award for battle readiness

The nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class submarine Boise has been named one of the winners in the 2012 Battle Efficiency competition.

The Norfolk-based sub is led by Cmdr. Brian Sittlow. One vessel from each submarine squadron in the Atlantic Fleet is recognized annually, according to a news release.

The Battle “E” awards are presented by the commodore of each squadron to the submarine under their command that has demonstrated the highest level of battle readiness during the evaluation year.

Source – Pilot online