BANGOR, Wash. (April 12, 2012) The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) arrives at homeport in Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor after completing a strategic deterrent patrol. (U.S. Navy photo by Ray Narimatsu)

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) - The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739), with its Gold Crew aboard, returned home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor April 12 after a 70-day strategic deterrent patrol.

"The crew performed great over a very demanding refit and patrol," said Cmdr. Mike Fisher, Gold Crew commanding officer. "Their enthusiasm and high morale was recognized by everyone."

Gold Crew Sailors were joined by members of their families for the final leg of Nebraska's transit to Bangor's Delta Pier.

During Nebraska's patrol, which began Feb. 3, a total of 29 Gold Crew Sailors - 25 enlisted and four officers - completed their submarine qualifications. As a result, those Sailors earned the right to wear the traditional "dolphins" of a submariner.

"I could not have asked for a better performance from this crew," Fisher added. "They should be very proud of their accomplishments."

In addition, two Gold Crew Sailors became fathers while on patrol.

Nebraska is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, providing the survivable leg of the nation's strategic deterrent forces.