Commander, Submarine Group Two

Chief Sonar Technician Joe Clark, Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Phil
Hogge, Lt. j.g. Garry Ferguson and Sonar Technician Seaman Brandon
Chiat participate in the South Berwick Christmas parade. Photo courtesy
Karen Giuffrida.

Submariners Help Local Community Celebrate the Holiday Season 

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine - For the second consecutive year, Sailors assigned to Los Angeles-class submarine USS Helena (SSN 725) led the South Berwick Christmas Parade on Nov. 27. 

This year's celebration garnered even more participants and spectators than last year's with hundreds of people lining the mile and a half long parade route from Rollinsford, NH to South Berwick's city hall. 

Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Phil Hogge, a frequent Helena representative in local community events, commented, "The turn out and reception from this town is always beyond expectation.  They have so much spirit and energy for these types of things."

With the theme of this year's parade being "Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child," many of the floats and garb among the parade participants were themed around childhood stories, memories and personal recollections.

This year's rendition of the parade showcased Helena sailors as they prominently marched and waved alongside VFW Post 5744 members who paraded the colors while local boy and girl scouts troops, the Marshwood High School Marching Band, and numerous local organizations with floats, trucks, equipment, and marchers of all ages followed along.  A welcomed difference to this year's celebration was the onset of snow as soon as the parade began.  The snow lasted the duration of the parade and became a perfect touch to the parade in ringing in the winter and holiday seasons.  

Helena, a Los Angeles-class submarine arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in September of 2009 for an Engineered Overhaul.  While participating in extracurricular activities, the team has continued to stay on pace for a return to sea in the Spring of next year.

- USN -