USS Tucson returns from Western Pacific deployment
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) returned from deployment to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, March 7.
Tucson successfully completed a six-month Western Pacific deployment while conducting operations in support of national security.
This deployment was the first for more than forty percent of Tucson’s crew.
“I’ve learned that staying calm and organizing what you are going to do is a very important part of being a Submariner,” said Electronics Technician (Nuclear) Third Class Jack Sheldon, from Tucson, Arizona. “If you are calm, you can walk through what needs to happen and keep others calm in the process.”
During the deployment, 28 Officers and Sailors earned their submarine warfare qualification “dolphins” and 21 Sailors advanced in rank.
“I am extremely proud of the crew and their commitment to our mission and our nation,” said Cmdr. Chad Hardt, commanding officer of Tucson and a native of Aiken, South Carolina. “They demonstrated absolute professionalism, dedication and resolve while executing the full spectrum of forward deployed submarine operations.”
While deployed, Tucson conducted port calls in Tokyo, Japan as well as Chinhae, South Korea.
“We had a very successful port call to Chinhae,” said Lt. Garret Allen, from Wimberley, Texas. “The crew enjoyed some outstanding liberty and it gave us the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea.”
Upon returning to Pearl Harbor, Master Chief Electronics Technician (Navigation) Juan Gonzalez, from Houston, Texas, and Tucson’s Chief of the Boat, commended the crew for their hard work and dedication to completing a successful deployment.
“In my 26 years in the Navy, it never ceases to amaze me how young Sailors can band together and thrive as a whole to complete difficult missions and tasks,” said Gonzalez. “This has been a demanding deployment, and to see the hard work of this great crew culminate in a successful deployment makes me proud to be part of such an outstanding team.”
Tucson is the second ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name of the Arizona city. It is the 59th Los Angeles-class attack submarine and the 20th of the improved Los Angeles-class attack submarine to be built. Twelve vertical-launch missile tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles provide Tucson with great offensive capability. Retractable bow planes give the ship increased maneuverability and under ice surfacing potential.