PEARL HARBOR, (NNS) - One of the Navy's newest and most technologically sophisticated Virginia-class submarines, USS North Carolina (SSN 777) arrived at her new homeport, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Monday, Nov. 15, after the completion of a four month inner-fleet transfer from Groton, Conn.

"The crew of North Carolina is excited to be here. They've been looking forward to this day for well over two years," said Cmdr. W.E. "Wes" Schlauder, commanding officer. "Having just completed a long shipyard period, they are motivated to get to work here in the Pacific and for the ship's first deployment."

During the transfer, North Carolina conducted a diverse series of exercises and test events to evaluate and certify the ship's capabilities in stealth and her new combat system across a range of submarine mission areas.

"During this time we conducted extensive operational training with the crew to prepare them for future operations in the Pacific," said Schlauder.

North Carolina's keel was laid on May 22, 2004 and the submarine's official commissioning ceremony was held on May 3, 2008. Measuring 377 feet long, weighing 7,800 tons when submerged and with a complement of more than 130 crewmembers, it is the fifth ship to be named in honor of the Tar Heel State. North Carolina joins two active Los Angeles-class submarines in the Pacific, USS Asheville (SSN 758) and USS Charlotte (SSN 766) which are named after cities in North Carolina.

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

"We are excited and determined that this legacy of service will continue as we make our new home here in Hawaii and begin operations in the Pacific," said Schlauder.

North Carolina will be the third Virginia-class submarine homeported at Pearl Harbor, and will be assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron 3.

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