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USS Minneapolis-St. Paul Returns from Last Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070405-16
Release Date: 4/5/2007 7:57:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christina M. Shaw, Commander, Submarine Force Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) returned to Norfolk Naval Station on April 3 after her final six-month deployment before inactivation.

While deployed the crew demonstrated the great flexibility of fast attack submarines, conducting a wide range of joint requirements supporting national security as well as multiple operations contributing directly to mission objectives and the global war on terrorism.

Minneapolis-St. Paul Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Chris Williams, said despite the difficult times during the deployment, the crew truly had the chance to shine.

“They [the crew] had two things they wanted to do. They wanted to honor their shipmates that did not come home and they wanted to finish the mission -- the mission they were sent to do and they did that. They were closer because of what they went through [and] it just shows you what teamwork is all about and what professionalism is all about despite the loss, despite the tragedy,” said Williams.

On Dec. 29, 2006, Senior Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Thomas Higgins and Sonar Technician (Submarine) 2nd Class Michael Holtz passed away after being swept overboard by waves off the coast of southwestern England.

Upon arrival Sailors on board proudly displayed arm bands with the saying "rest your oars, shipmates" and the names of their fallen comrades; something that Williams said is just a way of honoring them.

Minneapolis-St. Paul was commissioned in 1984 and will inactivate in a ceremony this summer.

“We certainly recognize the last deployment and the crew recognizes the last deployment. The ship will get the proper recognition as she goes on to be decommissioned for this deployment but also the other deployments that she has done for the last 23 years,” said Williams.

With stealth, persistence, agility and firepower, fast-attack submarines like Minneapolis-St. Paul are multimission capable -- able to deploy and support special forces operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary’s military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity and ensure undersea superiority.

Minneapolis-St. Paul is 360 feet long, displaces 6,900 tons of water and can travel in excess of 25 knots.

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