Commander, Submarine Group Two

Photo by Chris Oxley, Newport News Shipbuilding.

Future USS California Successfully Passes Sea Trials, On Track for Fall Commissioning
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The future USS California (SSN 781), returned to Newport News, Va.,  July 2, having successfully completed its initial, or Alpha sea trials.
Testing evolutions completed during Alpha sea trials included diving to test depth, conducting an emergency surfacing, and testing the submarine's propulsion plant designed to evaluate the ship's seaworthiness and operational performance. California, the Navy's newest Virginia-class submarine, is commanded by Clinton, Conn. native Cmdr. Dana Nelson.
"California's outstanding performance during Alpha trials is a testament to the quality of the design, the talent of the shipbuilding team, and the hard work of Cmdr. Nelson and his crew in getting the ship to this point," said Rear Adm. (sel.) Michael Jabaley, Virginia-class program manager. "Delivering this ship early will provide another much-needed asset to the Fleet ahead of schedule."
The eighth ship of the Virginia class, California is on track to deliver nine months early to the Fleet. All Virginia-class submarines currently under construction are scheduled to deliver early to their original contract delivery dates.
California will next undergo Bravo sea trials and the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey trials which will commence later in July. Built under a unique teaming agreement by General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls-Newport News, the submarine will be commissioned this fall in Norfolk, Va.
"The partnership between our shipbuilders and our Navy team has been a key factor in the Virginia class' success," said Program Executive Officer Submarines Rear Adm. David Johnson,. "The team's efforts are paying great dividends to the Fleet and will allow the U.S. Submarine Force to continue to operate without peer."
Virginia-class submarines are designed to dominate the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting Anti-Submarine; Anti-Surface Ship; Strike; Special Operation Forces; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; Irregular Warfare; and Mine Warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite directly enable them to support five of the six Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities - Sea Control, Power Projection, Forward Presence, Maritime Security, and Deterrence.


California (SSN 781) returned to Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) July 2 after completing successful sea trials. The submarine returned with a broom on its mast, symbolizing a "clean sweep," and an NNS flag to mark the first Virginia-class submarine sea trial since the return of the Newport News Shipbuilding name. Photo by Chris Oxley, Newport News Shipbuilding.