SSN 701 La Jolla
USS La Jolla, one of the Los Angeles Class of nuclear-powered submarines, was the most advanced undersea boat of its type in the world. Her mission: to hunt down and destroy enemy surface ships and submarines. This 360 foot, 6,900 ton ship is well equipped to accomplish the task. Faster than her predecessors and equipped with highly accurate sensors and weapon control systems, she can be armed with sophisticated Mark 48 ADCAP anti-submarine torpedos and Tomahawk guided cruise missiles. This vessel carries a crew of about 145, 14 officers and 131 enlisted men, all specialists in their respective fields.
The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) arrived at its new homeport in Norfolk, Virginia, 10 November 2014. Under the command of Cmdr. Kevin Roach, the submarine was previously assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron One, home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The submarine arrived in Norfolk to begin its conversion to a Moored Training Ship (MTS). La Jolla will remain at Norfolk Naval Station until transported in February 2015 to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., for the 32-month MTS conversion. During the conversion, the La Jolla will have its missile compartments removed, but will have a fully operational reactor power plant.
During the conversion the La Jolla had her its missile compartments removed, but had fully operational reactor power plants. La Jolla is being converted to a state-of-the-art moored training ship. La Jolla was chosen as the next MTS based on her service life and amount of nuclear fuel remaining. If not converted, the submarine would have been inactivated and decommissioned in 2015.
Once converted La Jolla was designated Moored Training Ship (MTS 701), and will assigned to the Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) at Naval Support Activity in Charleston, South Carolina. At NPTU, the ship provided a platform for Naval officers and enlisted personnel to train in the operation, maintenance and supervision of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Plants.
The ship was the first Los Angeles-class submarine to undergo conversion to a NPTU. The current NPTUs in service at Charleston are Daniel Webster (MTS 626), a converted Lafayatte-class ballistic-missile submarine, and Sam Rayburn (MTS 635), a converted James Madison-class ballistic-missile submarine. Sam Rayburn was reclassified as MTS 635 in July 1989 and will remain in service until May 2019. Daniel Webster was designated MTS 626 in August 1990 and would remain in service until November 2022.
La Jolla remained in service for the majority of the conversion until its reclassification to MTS around August 2017 a few months before the boat was scheduled to complete conversion. La Jolla is expected to provide 20 years of service as a MTS. The conversion required a one-of-a-kind hull separation of the forward compartment. Then a newly-fabricated hull section was welded in place, and the new space contained training spaces, office spaces, and an emergency safeguard system. The ship's new mission provided an operational training unit for future nuclear operators during their initial qualification process. La Jolla replaced the MTS 626 Daniel Webster in Charleston in 2018
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