Friday, January 21, 2011

USS Scranton Deploys

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Los Angeles fast-attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756) departed on a regularly scheduled six-month deployment from Naval Station Norfolk (NSN) Jan. 21.

Homeported in Norfolk, the submarine will deploy to the European Command Area of Responsibility (AOR) where it will support the Maritime Strategy through maritime security operations.

Nicknamed the "Iron Horse," Scranton is commanded by Cmdr. Paul A. Whitescarver.

"In my opinion there is not a finer or harder working submarine crew on the waterfront than the men of the 'Iron Horse,'" said Whitescarver. "They have made their country proud in the effort given to put their ship in line on the tip of the spear. We are ready to receive tasking from the European Combatant Commander and are eager to prove our metal. We will be on track, on time and on target.

"I feel confident in saying that our biggest asset will be the support of our families at home. With the assistance of the Fleet and Family Services Center and our parent command, Commander, Submarine Squadron 6, we've had great support in ensuring they are also prepared for our deployment," continued Whitescarver.

Fast-attack submarines like Scranton have multifaceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary's military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity and ensure undersea superiority.

Named after the city of Scranton, Penn., located in the Lackawanna River Valley, Scranton was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company and was commissioned January 26, 1991. The 360-foot ship has a crew compliment of 16 officers and 122 enlisted Sailors, displaces 6,900 tons of water and can travel in excess of 20 knots while submerged.