USS Jacksonville Departs for Western Pacific Deployment
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Monday, Nov. 5, for a scheduled six-month deployment in the Western Pacific region.
Jacksonville's commanding officer, Cmdr. Nate Sukols, commented that even though many of the crew members are inexperienced, they are looking forward to the deployment.
"They are anxious to go out there and do what submarines do at the pointy end of the spear," said Sukols. Sukols said of the 115 enlisted and 16 officers aboard, for over 50% of the crew this is going to be their very first deployment ever.
Sukols said the submarine's specific goals is to have a safe deployment while having the opportunity to perform missions vital to national security and contribute to the missions of the Navy and the Defense Department. There will also be specific goals for specific crewmembers as they each grow professionally and take on added responsibility and new leadership roles.
Sukols said it is exciting to take such an enthusiastic and excited crew out to do something that is important to the country. They have worked incredibly hard to get a junior crew to this point and are eager to make a contribution to the Navy mission.
"I'm a little nervous because this is my first deployment, but I have a good division, they support me, and it's one big family," said Machinist Mate 3rd Class Andrew Blouch.
Commissioned in May 1981, Jacksonville is named for Jacksonville, Fla. Nicknamed "The Bold One," she is a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine that is 360-feet long and displaces 6,900 tons. She can be fitted with Mk-48 torpedoes and harpoon missiles.