Friday, February 15, 2008

USS Augusta Bids Farewell to Homeport

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Steven Myers, Commander, Submarine Force Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Augusta (SSN 710) departed Naval Submarine Base New London for the final time Feb. 12, moving to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., to commence its inactivation process.

The inactivation process will take approximately 12 months to complete, and includes removal of materials, tools, spare parts and furnishings. Fluids will be drained from hydraulic systems, tanks and piping. The ship will then be towed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., for ship recycling.

"Augusta served admirably for more than two decades," said Capt. Ken Perry, Submarine Development Squadron 12 commodore. "Her technology and mission flexibility greatly contributed to maintaining our nation's undersea supremacy."

For the past 23 years, Augusta has lived up to its crew's motto "Any Mission, Any Time" with multiple deployments around the world, including launching Tomahawk missiles in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and its deployment to the U.S. European Command's area of responsibility in support of the war on terrorism during 2007.

Augusta's crew was also recognized for their excellence by receiving awards in four of the 11 Battle Efficiency categories for 2007 – the Engineering Red "E", Tactical Operations White "T", Supply Blue "E" and the Medical Yellow "M".

During the inactivation ceremony held Feb. 7, Cmdr. Chad Brown, Augusta's commanding officer said that it was a bittersweet moment in his career as this becomes the second time he has said goodbye to a ship and its crew. His first ship, the former USS Baltimore (SSN 704) was decommissioned in 1998.