SSN 717 Olympia
The Los Angeles-class, nuclear-powered fast attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN-717) is now retired from the US Navy after concluding its monthslong, around-the-world tour earlier this year. The Olympia entered port for the final time on 29 October 2019 after concluding its seven-month, global voyage through the Earth’s oceans. The nuclear-powered attack sub’s arrival at the Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington, marked the end of the longest-serving US submarine’s 35-year career and the beginning of its decommissioning process. Commissioned on November 17, 1984, the vessel was the US Navy’s longest-serving submarine, with nearly 35 years of service.
USS OLYMPIA is the United States Navy's 104th nuclear powered submarine and the 95th of the attack submarine fleet. She is the 29th of the Los Angeles nuclear powered fast attack submarine class to be delivered to the Navy Submarine fleet. OLYMPIA began her waterborne career on 30 April 1983 when she was launched at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydocking Company in Newport News, Virginia. OLYMPIA was christened by Mrs. Dorothy Williams, and was commissioned on 17 November 1984.
USS OLYMPIA (SSN 717) brings to the fleet the virtually unlimited endurance of her nuclear propulsion plant, the most advanced SONAR and Fire Control systems on board submarines today, and an impressive underwater launch system capable of firing torpedoes and missiles. The OLYMPIA is capable of sustained high-speed operations in direct support of the carrier task forces of the United States Navy, as well as independent operations of critical importance to national security.
In February of 1986, OLYMPIA set sail for her new homeport in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Since OLYMPIA's arrival in Pearl Harbor she has completed four Western Pacific deployments and numerous other operations. Her travels have taken her to ports throughout the Western Pacific, and four visits to her namesake city in Olympia, Washington.
OLYMPIA has earned many awards including the Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Engineering Excellence, Deck Seamanship and Silver Anchor Awards. As its motto states, "Este Paratus" -- "We are ready!"
USS Olympia (SSN 717) departed for a six-month Western Pacific deployment from its homeport of Pearl Harbor Feb. 7, 2005. She was to join the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Strike Group heading into the Western Pacific.
The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) returned 25 February 2015 from a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, welcomed by family and friends gathered at the submarine piers of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The submarine's commanding officer, Cmdr. Thomas Shugart, said the crew was outstanding and productive throughout the deployment. "It was fantastic!" said Shugart, a native of Houston. "Our Sailors did a great job representing us and the nation overseas, working with our allies and projecting power forward in defense of peace and harmony in the Western Pacific." Olympia successfully completed an array of undersea operations and training evolutions, and worked with allied partners in several multinational exercises, thus improving the overall mission readiness of U.S. and allied forces.
USS Olympia (SSN 717) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka 31 May 2017 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The series of submarine visits announced by the U.S. Navy in Asia are widely seen as a message to North Korea amid Pyongyang’s continued missile tests.
The original USS OLYMPIA was commissioned February 5, 1895. Her first assignment was that of Flagship for the Asiatic Fleet. This led to the historical day at Manila Bay when Commodore Dewey turned to Captain Gridley and ordered "Fire when ready." OLYMPIA's guns were the first to cry out, leading to the destruction of Spain's Asian Fleet.
In OLYMPIA's 27 years of service, she performed a variety of duties until perhaps her most honorable mission came in 1921 when she sailed for Le Havre, France to take the remains of the Unknown Soldier of World War I from there to Arlington Cemetery. In 1922, OLYMPIA was decommissioned in Philadelphia. Today, the Navy's oldest steel ship, still afloat, is preserved as a shrine by the Cruiser Olympia Association.
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