Saturday, January 29, 2011

USS La Jolla Departs for Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Jan. 27, for a scheduled six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility (AOR) and the Western Pacific region.

Cmdr. Jeff Bernard, USS La Jolla commanding officer, said the crew is extremely excited and well prepared to get underway.

"The crew has worked very hard, and we have conducted extensive training during the deployment preparation phase and will continue to hone the lessons learned from that training as we transit to our operational areas," said Bernard. "There is a great deal of satisfaction within the crew to be finally finished preparing for this deployment and to begin operations at sea."

The deployment will be the first for the majority of the crew, where according to Bernard, they will conduct many training exercises and qualifications as well as being available for any tasking which comes their way.

"This deployment will provide an optimal time for a great deal of submarine qualifications, watch station and other divisional qualifications to be completed," said Bernard. "Our goal is to maximize operational readiness in support of the needs of the operational commander and above all else, bring the submarine and crew back safely from a successful deployment."

USS La Jolla is named for La Jolla, California, and is the first warship named after this township.

La Jolla, commissioned Oct. 24, 1981, is the fourteenth ship of the Los Angeles-class of nuclear attack submarines, is 360-feet long and displaces 6,900 tons. Attack submarines are uniquely capable because of their stealth and endurance, which is increasingly important as the Navy works to provide stability and security around the world. The submarine can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 ADCAP anti-submarine torpedoes and Tomahawk guided cruise missiles.