ABOARD USS CHARLOTTE (NNS) -- USS Charlotte (SSN 766) returned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Oct. 24, after spending almost two years at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.
Charlotte departed Naval Station Pearl Harbor two years prior for a Depot Modernization Period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth.
"The crew did great," said Charlotte Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Bobby Pannell. "After spending all that time in the ship yard, then 30 days underway and transiting the Panama Canal, they made it look a lot easier than it is, which made my job a lot easier."
Many family members were waiting anxiously on the pier for their Sailor to return to paradise, including Lori Lohrman, who surprised her husband and flew from Norfolk to say aloha and surprise him with some "exciting" news.
"Aside from not knowing I'm here, he also doesn't know he's going to be a daddy again," said the wife of Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SS) Joel Lohrman. "We're transferring to New York in December so my son and I weren't planning on making the trip. It wasn't until I found out what they had planned (for the homecoming) I said, 'I have to be here.'"
As for her husband, he admitted he was a bit "overwhelmed," with the surprise visit, as well as the news, but, "seeing my family on the pier when I wasn't expecting it was awesome."
Not all Charlotte families were able to make the move to Virginia with their loved ones, including Pannell's fiancee, so she was "very happy" to welcome them home.
"Charlotte was a Pacific boat, it's always been a Pacific boat," she said. "Now she's back home where she belongs."
Pannell agreed. "It's been a two-year deployment for some of them, myself included, so everyone's been anxious the past week. It's great to be back home"
For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/subpac/.