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USS California Returns from Maiden Deployment

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150126-08
Release Date: 1/26/2015 10:35:00 AM

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) returned to its homeport at U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, from its maiden deployment Jan. 24.

Under the command of Cmdr. Shawn Huey, California is returning from the U.S. European Command area of responsibility where the crew executed the Chief of Naval Operation's maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

'The crew of California performed exceptionally on their first deployment and completed all tasking assigned,' said Huey. 'We conducted two missions vital to national security, theater anti-submarine warfare, and a multi-national theater anti-submarine warfare exercise.

During the deployment, California transited more than 40,000 nautical miles.

Port visits were conducted in Haakonsvern, Norway; Rota, Spain; Faslane, Scotland; and Brest, France.

'We qualified 31 Sailors in Submarine Warfare, and advanced four chief petty officers, five first class petty officers, six second class petty officers, and eight third class petty officers while deployed,' said Huey. 'Being deployed over three holidays, we kept the schedule light on those days for scheduled, but we all understood that the ship was conducting deployed operations in support of national and theater tasking over those days.

'We are looking forward to 30-day stand down where we will be able to take some well-deserved leave, go home to visit our families out of the area and relax with families in the area,' said Huey. 'There will be a light load of maintenance and repairs to be handled by duty section personnel. More than 25 percent of the crew will rotate in the first six months after the deployment as the crew begins their preparations for the next deployment.'

'I would like to thank the families of California crew members, who without their terrific support and selfless sacrifice, none of these accomplishments would have been possible. Now the crew is looking forward to a well-deserved stand down period to spend some quality time with family and friends,' Huey said.

The eighth Virginia-class submarine commissioned, and the seventh U. S. Navy ship named for the Golden State, California, was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding and commissioned on Oct. 29, 2011, at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

California enables five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

The submarine is designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.

California is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operates at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.

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