GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768), commanded by Cmdr. Matthew Fanning, returned to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base, New London in Groton, Connecticut, July 24.
The crew of Hartford executed the Chief of Naval Operations' maritime strategy by supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.
“The crew did fantastic on deployment. I couldn’t be happier,” said Fanning. “We did it as a team, and as a family. We relied on the great training obtained before deploying, and we were able to use every bit of it.”
Following a few rainy days, Hartford arrived in Groton on clear skies. More than 500 family, friends, and Sailors showed support by cheers; love ones screamed and held handmade signs as Hartford pull into port.
Along with the family readiness group, submariners organized the homecoming ceremony with games and food to entertain the crowd as they awaited the arrival of Hartford.
Lt. Benjamin Hankin was the first crew member to be reunited with his family. He was the only member of the crew to miss the birth of a child during the deployment.
“I’m super excited to be home, and I am thankful for my wife holding down the home site while I was gone,” said Hankin. “We have two girls so I am curious what kind of new, extra toys and activities are in the house now that we have a boy at home.”
Amber Cool, with her two daughters, met Chief Electronics Technician (Submarine Communications) Jason Cool with a hug.
Lindsay Garver, accompany by their two children, greeted her husband Chief Electricians Mate (Nuclear Power) Brandon Garver.
After the first few crew members, the gates opened and the rest of the families and friends rushed the pier to find their Sailors.
Electronics Technician (Submarine Navigation) 3rd Class Logan Jackowiak was greeted by his mother, Rhonda Jackowiak, and sister, Breanna Jackowiak. He completed his first deployment and returned home on his 21st birthday.
“It’s great to be home, returning from my first deployment,” said Jackowiak. “I didn’t think I would be home before my birthday. My mother and sister are here traveling all the way from Illinois. Today is just an exciting day.”
During the deployment, Hartford steamed approximately 34,200 nautical miles or 39,356 statute miles. Hartford’s crew supported diplomatic relationships by conducting port visits in Fastlane, Scotland and the United Kingdom.
Twenty-five enlisted Sailors and five officers earned their submarine warfare qualification, known as "dolphins", during the deployment. Additionally, 18 enlisted Sailors were advanced to the next paygrade, ten officers were promoted and seven Sailors reenlisted.
Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.
Commissioned on Dec. 10, 1994, Hartford is the second ship to be named after Hartford, Connecticut. It is 360 feet long with a beam of almost 33 feet and draft of 29 feet.
For more news from Naval Submarine Support Center, New London, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsscnlon/.