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USS Pittsburgh Returns From Deployment

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150512-16
Release Date: 5/12/2015 1:30:00 PM

By Kevin Copeland, commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) returned from a six-month deployment to its homeport at U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, May 12.

Under the command of Cmdr. Bill Solomon III, Pittsburgh returned from the U.S. European Command area of responsibility where the crew executed the chief of naval operation's maritime strategy while conducting maritime security operations supporting national security interests.

During the deployment Pittsburgh steamed more than 30,000 nautical miles. Port visits were conducted in Haakonsvern, Norway; Rota, Spain; and Faslane, Scotland.

'We conducted operations in the Atlantic Ocean within the European Command area of responsibility, and also conducted three missions vital to national security,' said Solomon. 'The Pittsburgh crew performed extremely well during the deployment. Despite facing severe weather in port and at-sea, they completed all evolutions without incident.'

Crew members missed significant holidays while deploying in November 2014, but many of them will be returning wearing additional 'hardware' on their chests.

'While deployed we unfortunately missed multiple federal holidays, various religious holidays, and a few major sporting events,' said Solomon. 'When the operational schedule permitted we capitalized on the 'downtime' to celebrate together with holiday style meals and a little extra sleep. Significant is the fact that we had 20 enlisted Sailors and three officers complete their submarine warfare qualifications to earn their silver and gold dolphins.

'Now that we are back at home, the crew can focus on rest and relaxation with their family and friends. Many of us will spend time near our homeport in Groton while others will travel throughout the U.S. to visit extended family.'

Fast-attack submarines like USS Pittsburgh are multi-mission platforms enabling 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 - from open ocean anti-submarine warfare to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to projecting power ashore with special operation forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

Built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, and, commissioned Nov. 23, 1985, the 'Heart of Steel' is the fourth American warship to be named for the city of Pittsburgh. It is 362 feet long, has a 33-foot beam, able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operates at speeds in excess of 20 knots submerged.

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