USS Columbia Returns to Pearl Harbor


Story Number: NNS100504-04Release Date: 5/4/2010 8:33:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class fast-attack nuclear powered submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Monday, May 3, following a six-month deployment to the western Pacific region.

"This was an incredibly successful deployment from completing tasking important to national interests, to engaging our allies in a positive environment." said Cmdr. Craig Blakely, commanding officer, USS Columbia. "Columbia performed superbly, demonstrating the versatility of the U.S. fast attack submarine.

"Almost 70% of the Columbia crew was on their first deployment, but you would never know from their performance," said Blakely. "I am extremely proud of the conduct of the crew. Whether playing soccer against our fellow submariners in South Korea or keeping the ship safe during stressful deployed operations, everyone was professional."

Columbia, commissioned in 1995, was the last 688-class submarine to be built at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Conn. This submarine is one of the most versatile ships in the world, capable of numerous types of missions in a myriad of regions including long range Tomahawk strike operations, anti-submarine and surface ship tracking operations, surveillance and intelligence gathering, and even special forces insertions.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/subpac/.

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