SSN 720 Pittsburgh
"Heart of Steel"
The contract to build the Pittsburgh was awarded on April 16, 1979. Her keel was laid four years later on April 15, 1983 and she was launched on Dec 8, 1984. SSN 720 was commissioned on Nov 23, 1985. The submarine is the fourth Navy vessel to be named for the people of Pittsburgh, Pa. The submarine's crew compliment includes 13 officers and 121 enlisted Sailors.
The ship has a distinguished combat history. Pittsburgh was the first U.S. submarine to launch wartime Tomahawk Cruise missiles as part of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, followed by a second strike in 2002 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On 2 April 1991, the Pittsburgh and the USS Louisville condected submarine-launched tomahawk cruise missile attacks against Iraq. The Pittsburgh returned from a seven-month deployment on April 27, 2003. The sub departed in October 2002 for a regular deployment in the Med. The Pittsburgh fired Tomahawk cruise missiles into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) returned home to loved ones at Naval Submarine Base New London 15 October 2010. Pittsburgh departed April 1 for a six-month deployment and conducted operations in the European Command area of responsibility. "It's great to see all the families here. Six months is a long time to be out to sea on a submarine, so its nice to come home and know your are appreciated, missed, and made to feel welcome again," said Cmdr. Michael Savageaux, Pittsburgh's commanding officer.
Electronics Technician 3rd Class Loren Trover and his wife Andrea and Lt. Cmdr. Sean Stein and his wife Nina were chosen to receive the traditional first kiss. Machinist's Mate 1st Class Zachary Shafer was met with a first as well. He met his newest child, Jesse, for the first time. She was born while Pittsburgh was deployed. "It's great to be back," said Shafer. "Now I get to work on a relationship with my daughter. Hopefully, we can get her to the point where she doesn't cry when I pick her up."
Pittsburgh's crew was able to enjoy some European culture while visiting ports in Faslane, Scotland; Haakonsvern, Norway; Brest, France; and Portsmouth, England. The submarine steamed about 30,000 miles during her deployment. Fast-attack submarines like Pittsburgh have multi-faceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary's military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.
Commanding officers and the ship's sponsor of Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), met in the boat's namesake city to thank the Pittsburgh Council of the Navy League of the United States and the people of Pittsburgh for their local support, 11 December 2011. Dr. Carol H. Sawyer, USS Pittsburgh sponsor, joined local relief crew and former commanding officers to show their gratitude during a brunch held at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The people of Pittsburgh and the USS Pittsburgh Relief Crew have provided years of Christmas gifts for children of crew members, re-enlistment gifts and ball caps for ship's personnel, and hosted numerous half-way and welcome home parties and family picnics. They have hosted fundraising events and recognized annual Sailors of the Year by awarding them savings bonds.
For USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), making submarine history is just another day in the ship's long and storied tradition. On 15 November 2017, USS Pittsburgh continued to add to history by completing its 1000th dive. The dive capped a busy underway period in which the ship completed Tactical Development Exercises, Submarine Command Course (SCC) and port visits to Port Canaveral, Florida and Kings Bay, Georgia. During 32 years of commissioned service the ship has been a primary player in U.S. submarine history since its first dive in 1985. Pittsburgh was launch on Dec. 8, 1984 from Electric Boat with Capt. Raymond Setser in command. Pittsburgh remained homeported in Groton, Connecticut, where it has been a regular fixture on the waterfront since the 1980s. Pittsburgh has conducted more than 15 deployments to various theaters in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. Pittsburgh has made port calls all over the world including Souda Bay, Gibraltar and Tunisia in the Mediterranean, Bahrain, and Jebel Ali in the Middle East, Panama, Western and Northern Africa, and multiple trips to Scotland, France, Spain and Norway. These port visits were essential to developing and maintaining strong relations with overseas partners. The nuclear-powered, Los Angeles class, fast-attack submarine, USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), was presented with two readiness awards from Submarine Squadron Twelve on 19 Jan 2018. Pittsburgh earned the Red and Green "N" and White "P". Both awards are part of the Battle Efficiency Competition. The Red and Green "N" recognizes outstanding performance in Navigation/Operations Readiness and the White "P" recognizes outstanding performance in Personnel Readiness.
Commodore of Submarine Squadron Twelve, Capt. Ollie Lewis presented both awards to Pittsburgh and praised the crew for its hard work. "I think a lot of this award and I spent a lot of time making sure we got it to the right crew" said Lewis. "It was clearly evident that in all categories that it comprises: taking care of your people, looking out for their well-being, advancements, retention, and unplanned loses, caring about the day-to-day work that your people do, and Pittsburgh does it right".
Lewis continued to highlight Pittsburgh's accomplishments while completing a demanding and challenging schedule over the past year. The Battle Efficiency competition is an annual event that's conducted to strengthen and evaluate both command and overall force warfighting readiness and to recognize outstanding command performance. Submarine commands are evaluated on their year-long performance and readiness in the following fields: Engineering, Weapons, Strategic, Navigation/Operations, Communications/Cyber, Supply, Personnel, Medical and Repair.
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