NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. (NNS) -- Friends, family members and fellow submariners will welcome Los Angeles-class submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) back to San Diego April 1. The submarine will be returning from a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
Asheville had a busy schedule performing national security missions and taking part in two international exercises. This made for long days for the crew, but Asheville's Sailors were up for the challenge.
"The deployment was, and is always, a true test on what a crew is made of," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS) Thurston Ball. "The crew of USS Asheville proved to possess the guts to make it happen. Personally, I am very proud of being a part of team Asheville."
In addition to 18-hour working days, many Asheville Sailors took time to improve themselves through personal and professional development. They squeezed in exercise and even at-sea college courses during off-duty time.
Nine sailors also completed the rigorous qualification in submarines and earned their "fish." The dolphin warfighting pin is a certification by the commanding officer that an individual has completed the arduous task of learning details about all aspects of the submarine including damage control, warfighting and tactics, engineering, and everyday "submarining."
The deployment wasn't all work, though, as Asheville made several port calls. Stops included Guam, Singapore, Japan, Saipan and Hawaii. Each location offered many liberty opportunities for Asheville's crew, and each Sailor had his favorite.
"My favorite was probably Singapore," said Sonar Technician (Submarine) 3rd Class (SS) Austin Carter. "The transportation was great, the weather was beautiful [and] the people were cool. I took a lot of pictures and would love to go back there sometime."
Asheville was commissioned in September 1991 and is the 47th Los Angeles-class submarine. It is 360 ft. long and has a displaced weight of more than 6,000 tons. Asheville is the fourth U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name of the North Carolina mountain city.
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