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
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.
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,
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
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from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.
Navy commissions nuclear submarine California
By Brock Vergakis - The Associated
Posted : Saturday Oct 29, 2011 14:53:22 EDT
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. The Navys 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
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 ships 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 nations interests.
In addition to torpedoes, California is armed with Tomahawk
California cost about $2.3 billion to build and was
delivered more than eight months ahead of schedule by Newport News Shipbuilding
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 ships 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
Cmdr. Dana Nelson is the commanding officer of the ship,
which has a crew of 134.