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Oklahoma City Returns to Norfolk

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071111-06
Release Date: 11/11/2007 1:03:00 AM

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Dean Lohmeyer, Commander, Submarine Force Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) returned to its home port here Nov.9 following a regularly scheduled six-month deployment.

The crew demonstrated the submarine force ability to make full use of every asset they have in the most productive way possible. While deployed, Oklahoma City completed a wide range of joint requirements supporting national security in the Central Command area of responsibility.

Cmdr. Ed Mayer, commanding officer of Oklahoma City, is justifiably proud of his crew and their performance on this deployment.

"We took the Oklahoma City halfway around the world, we defended freedom and we supported the global war on terrorism," said Mayer. "These guys operated this submarine in shallow water, high contact-density environments, very challenging navigational areas, and they did it safely. They did a unique and important mission for our country."

Oklahoma City deployed May 11 as the first submarine in the Navy to certify and deploy using the Voyage Management System (VMS). VMS is a combination of digital charts, constant global positioning system fixes, environmental sensors and electronic command and control that allowed the submarine to eliminate many of the constraining aspects of navigation when using paper charts.

"It gave us a new level of situational awareness to navigate at a new level of safety," said Mayer. "I'm a believer. I really like it."

Tricia McMurtray is the command ombudsman for Oklahoma City. She was very happy to have her husband, Machinist's Mate First Class Petty Officer (SS) Michael McMurtray, home for the holidays.

"I'm very excited," said McMurtray. "I'm glad he's home and I'm glad (the deployment) is done."

In her position as ombudsman, McMurtray was personally involved with many Oklahoma City family members. It was a job she didn't take lightly.

"It was an honor that the commanding officer felt confident in my abilities to have me support the family members while they were home," she said. "I was glad I could be of help."

During the deployment, Oklahoma City's crew members served as ambassadors for the United States Navy during port visits to Rota, Spain; Bahrain; Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Diego Garcia; Souda Bay, Crete, Greece; and Toulon, France.

For more information on Navy submarines, weapons systems and Sailors, visit the Submarine Force Web site at: www.subforce.navy.mil.

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