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USS California Arrives at her New Homeport in Groton

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Navy Commander Dana Nelson, Commanding Officer of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS CALIFORNIA (SSN-781), observes his shipboard handlers as they
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2012
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      Navy Commander Dana Nelson, Commanding Officer of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS CALIFORNIA (SSN-781), observes his shipboard handlers as they navigate the submarine pierside at its new home port of Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., on Tuesday.

      USS California Arrives at her New Homeport in Groton

      See video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqk5dPl0gRw

      By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Commander, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

      GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) made her way up the Thames River Jan. 6 and arrived at her new homeport, Naval Submarine Base New London.

      California joins Submarine Squadron 4 to further train and test the crew. The submarine officially joined the fleet during her commissioning Oct. 29 at Naval Station Norfolk.

      "The crew of USS California and their families are happy to be in Groton, our new homeport," said Cmdr. Dana Nelson, California's commanding officer, and a native of Clinton, Conn. "What a great way to start the new year."

      Nelson is California's first commanding officer and leads a crew of about 134 officers and enlisted personnel.

      A post-shakedown availability is scheduled for California, which will comprise maintenance, repairs, alterations and testing.

      Construction on California began February 2006; the submarine's keel was authenticated during a ceremony May 1, 2009, she was christened Nov. 6, 2010, and delivered to the Navy more than eight months early to its contract delivery date Aug. 7, 2011.

      California, the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities.

      For more information, visit
      www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

      For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit

      Navy commissions nuclear submarine California

      By Brock Vergakis - The Associated Press
      Posted : Saturday Oct 29, 2011 14:53:22 EDT

      NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. — The Navy’s newest nuclear-powered submarine was commissioned on Saturday, making California the eighth Virginia-class sub to join the fleet.

      Virginia-class submarines have capabilities that allow them to perform better in shallow water than other subs and were designed to help provide better support for special forces, an increasingly important aspect of naval strategy. Among other features, the torpedo room can be reconfigured to house large numbers of special operation forces and their equipment for prolonged deployments. The ship also has a large chamber for divers coming and going.

      “There are a lot of people who have been waiting for this day and for you,” Vice Adm. John Richardson, commander of submarine forces, told the ship’s crew during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.

      “Our fleet commanders have been waiting for the decision superiority that you will bring them, providing them the full range of options from covert operation in peacetime to decisive firepower in wartime to protect our nation’s interests.”

      In addition to torpedoes, California is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

      California cost about $2.3 billion to build and was delivered more than eight months ahead of schedule by Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

      Another six Virginia-class submarines are under construction and another four are under contract, with Newport News Shipbuilding and Groton, Conn.-based Electric Boat taking turns delivering the subs.

      California will be home ported at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn. Each Virginia-class sub is stationed in either Groton, Conn., or Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Navy has 72 submarines in its fleet.

      It is the seventh Navy ship to bear the name California, and Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., noted that one of the ship’s predecessors was attacked at Pearl Harbor. McKeon said during a commissioning speech that was webcast by the Navy that the submarine California will be responsible for stopping surprise attacks in the future.

      “Like the months and years prior to [the] Pearl Harbor attack, the Pacific rim is heating up. This vessel and this crew is our best defense against the volatility rising in places like the Far East. And should the unthinkable happen and this nation find itself tangled up in conflict, you will be our best offense against any enemy and any adversary,” said McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

      California weighs 7,800 tons, is 377-feet long and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet. It can also operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a nuclear reactor plant that will eliminate the need for refueling during the planned life of the ship.

      Cmdr. Dana Nelson is the commanding officer of the ship, which has a crew of 134.

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