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USS Chicago Deploys to Western Pacific

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS051201-04
Release Date: 12/1/2005 12:29:00 PM

By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) David Rush, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721) departed its homeport of Pearl Harbor Nov. 29 on a western Pacific deployment.

According to Cmdr. Rich Wortman, Chicago’s commanding officer, the crew and the submarine are ready. “The crew has shown incredible resilience to get the boat to fleet standards and prepare themselves for this deployment,” said Wortman.

Wortman said that his submariners worked together to get the job done. “I always say teams play baseball, but crews take warships to sea. They realize they can’t do it alone. It takes every single member of the crew to keep you and the submarine safe.”

Although they will be on deployment throughout the holiday season, Wortman said his crew is looking forward to working hard and enjoying a few port visits.

Capt. Joseph E. Tofalo, commodore, Submarine Squadron 3, said he is delighted with the crew’s efforts. “They did a fantastic job of getting the ship ready for deployment. This is what it’s all about. We’re really proud of these guys.”

Tofalo added that they play an integral part in the western Pacific and the world. “There’s a lot going on in support of the global war on terrorism. There’s a lot of great Americans out there taking a strain, and these guys are a part of that.”

The submarine’s missions include locating and destroying submarines and surface ships, reconnaissance, land strike, and special warfare operations. The submarine can launch Mark 48 and ADCAP (Advanced Capability) torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles.

Displacing more than 6,900 tons, the 360-foot submarine can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots and attain depths of more than 800 feet. Nuclear propulsion gives her virtually unlimited endurance through any ocean in the world.

On May 6, 2003, USS Chicago returned to Pearl Harbor following a routine six-month deployment, patrolling the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

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