PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) returned from a deployment to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 26.
"I am very proud of the way our Sailors took care of each other during deployment and am extremely humbled by what the team accomplished through innovation, perseverance, and sometimes sheer grit,” said Cmdr. John Gonser, a native of Amityville, New York, and Cheyenne’s commanding officer. “Now we are blessed with the chance to share some aloha with the family and friends who sacrificed and supported us. Their support makes our mission possible.”
During the deployment, 17 Sailors advanced to the next pay grade, three officers were promoted, and 32 Sailors earned their submarine warfare qualification.
“The greatest accomplishment during this deployment for me was getting my fish [submarine warfare qualification],” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Connor X. Kedrowski, a native of Mount Dora, Florida. “It feels super rewarding to know that all the hard work I put in to get my fish has not gone unseen. All of my shipmates were there to assist me throughout this journey and I am proud to be a part of this new family.”
Cheyenne’s deployment allowed the crew to test their training and demonstrate their ability to complete high-end tactical missions in any environment.
“Our warship is outfitted with state of the art systems and technology, but it is our crew that makes USS Cheyenne stand out from the rest,” said Senior Chief Fire Control Technician, Sean Hingle, a native of Daytona Beach, Florida and Cheyenne’s chief of the boat. “Our Sailors put a great deal of time and effort into preparing and training for this deployment to ensure that we would not only be ready, but capable of taking on any mission and dominating it.”
Cheyenne’s capability was highlighted by its participation in Keen Sword, a joint, bilateral field-training exercise involving U.S. military and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel, designed to increase the combat readiness and interoperability of the Japan-U.S. alliance.
“The biggest lesson I learned on this deployment was keeping your head up,” said Lt. j.g. Benjamin M. West, a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Keeping not only my head up but helping others keep theirs up as well when the schedule changes and challenges arise. Perseverance and continuing to push on is what submariners are made of and our crew has embodied that."
Cheyenne enjoys a strong relationship with its namesake city highlighted by the Cheyenne, Wyoming mayor traveling to Pearl Habor to greet the crew as they returned from deployment.
“I could not be more proud than I was today welcoming home USS Cheyenne," said Marian J. Orr, mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming. "It was a profoundly touching and patriotic event to be aboard God’s Boat as we came home to Pearl Harbor. Speaking on behalf of our great city, I thank the submariners — of our namesake city — who risk their lives to protect our nation. We salute you.”
USS Cheyenne is named after the city of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and it is the last of the 62 Los Angeles-class submarines to enter service in the U.S. Navy. Commissioned on Sept. 13, 1996, Cheyenne measures more than 360-feet long and weighs more than 6,000 tons when submerged.