PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Friends and families of the crew from the USS La Jolla (SSN 701) gathered at the submarine piers to welcome back the Los Angeles-class submarine as she returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after completing a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific region, Jan. 25.
"We were fortunate enough to represent the United States Navy and the Submarine Force in Yokosuka, Japan; Busan, South Korea; and Saipan. We had a great time and the men did their country proud," said Cmdr. Jeff Bernard, La Jolla's commanding officer.
The submarine completed a variety of operations and several training exercises throughout the deployment that were vital to the theater commander. The crew of about 120 enlisted and 15 officers continuously executed their duties and responsibilities and accomplished every tasking with professionalism and enthusiasm.
"They overcame schedule changes and stayed focused on the mission. Their resilience and dedication was inspirational and is a testament to their efforts," said Bernard.
During the deployment, three officers and 14 enlisted Sailors earned their designation as qualified in submarines and now wear their "dolphin" warfare insignia.
Bernard said the deployment was an incredible opportunity for every Sailor to learn more about their particular jobs and submarining in general.
When the deployment was finally complete, many came home to smiling family and friends at the pier.
"It's wonderful! Simply amazing to see my husband back after all this time," said spouse Amanda Montgomery.
USS La Jolla is named for La Jolla, Calif. and is the first warship named after this township. Commissioned Oct. 24, 1981, La Jolla is the fourteenth ship of the Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarines. The submarine is 360-feet long, displaces 6,900 tons and can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 ADCAP anti-submarine torpedoes and Tomahawk guided cruise missiles.
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