Wednesday, February 23, 2011

USS Newport News Deploys

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles fast-attack submarine USS Newport News (SSN 750) departed on a regularly scheduled six-month deployment from Naval Station Norfolk, Feb. 21.

While deployed, the crew of Newport News will execute the chief of naval operation's maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

Newport News is commanded by Cmdr. J. Carl Hartsfield, who became the submarine's 11th commanding officer April 20, 2010.

"Newport News Sailors are ready to execute the tasking directed by our operational commander and visit foreign nations as ambassadors of American good will," said Hartsfield. "We have worked tirelessly for over a year against accelerated training and maintenance schedules to give the nation a full deployment. The crew is well-trained and prepared.

"Our families have sacrificed much and supported us during this arduous work-up period. Family separation is never easy, but they are also prepared for the deployment because they are emotionally strong and informed. They understand that we have jobs important to our country that unfortunately require our absence," said Hartsfield.

Fast-attack submarines like Newport News have multi-faceted 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.

Newport News has a crew complement of 15 officers and 127 enlisted. The submarine, the eighth ship to bear the name of the Virginia shipbuilding city, is 360 feet long, displaces 6,900 tons of water, and can travel in excess of 20 knots.