Saturday, July 24, 2010

USS North Carolina Departs Groton for New Homeport at Pearl Harbor

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Virginia-class attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) departed Submarine Base New London July 22, ultimately heading for her new homeport at Naval Station Pearl Harbor.

North Carolina, commanded by Cmdr. Wallace Schlauder, will be the third Virginia-class submarine homeported at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, joining USS Hawaii (SSN 776) and USS Texas (SSN 775).

The submarine's keel was laid on May 22, 2004 and the submarine's official commissioning ceremony was held May 3, 2008.

Measuring 377 feet long, weighing 7,800 tons when submerged and with a complement of more than 130 crew members, it is the fifth ship to be named in honor of the Tar Heel State. North Carolina's crew is excited to represent its namesake state both at home and abroad. She is one of the Navy's newest and most technologically sophisticated submarines.

This state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare.

Recognizing the importance of the Asia-Pacific region and the increased threat posed by the proliferation of submarines in the Pacific, the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review mandated that 60 percent of the U.S. Navy's submarines be home ported in the Pacific by the end of 2010.