BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- The Gold Crew of USS Michigan (SSGN 727) returned to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash., June 2, after concluding the guided-missile submarine's most recent forward operational period.
Family members and friends were present at Bangor Plaza to welcome home the Gold Crew Sailors, who arrived home on two flights from Hawaii after conducting a turnover with Michigan's Blue Crew.
"There are no words to describe it," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS) Tim Brown, who was greeted by his wife, Nicole, and their 1-year-old son. "It's awesome to be home."
Michigan, which will return to its homeport of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor later this summer, arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, May 25, after more than 12 months of forward deployment in the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of responsibility. The deployment was Michigan's second since its conversion from a Trident ballistic missile submarine in 2007.
"The crew did a tremendous job throughout our operational periods," said Capt. Phil McLaughlin, Gold Crew commanding officer of Michigan. "They answered every call with enthusiasm and professionalism."
During the Gold Crew's recent operational period, which began Feb. 18, Michigan conducted special warfare training with U.S. and Australian forces, greatly strengthening the operational capabilities of both nations.
Michigan also made a port visit to Busan, South Korea, hosting several distinguished visitors. Gold Crew Sailors joined their Republic of Korea Navy counterparts in various community relations events.
"I could not be more proud to be part of the crew of Michigan Gold," said Command Master Chief (SS) Bill Mast, Gold Crew chief of the boat. "The crew has worked hard every day since we left Bangor on Valentine's Day."
Michigan and the first converted SSBN, USS Ohio (SSGN 726), are both based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg9/.