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Commander, Submarine Group Two


 
 
 
USS Philadelphia’s Crew Bid a Final Farewell to their Ship in an Inactivation Ceremony
 
 
NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD (June 29, 2011) – Thirty-three years of service came to an end as the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) inactivation ceremony was held June 29 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
 
The 63 members of the ship’s crew stood on the pier and watched as the colors were lowered and the final watch was relieved. Soon after the ship was transferred to the shipyard Commander, Rear Adm. Joseph F. Campbell, for completion of the final inactivation stages, due to finish in mid-August. The crew will now return to various commands throughout the fleet.
 
With tears in his eyes, the Philadelphia’s final Commanding Officer, Cmdr. David Soldow explained his feelings about the day. “It’s heart wrenching. There are no words to describe seeing your ship taken out of service for the last time.”
 
During the ceremony Campbell said, “From Scotland to Bahrain to Gibraltar, members of this crew have served the United States as ambassadors and have done our country proud. While the boat may be inactivated one thing that will always remain active--the memories made amongst the leaders and crew members of this fine machine.”
 
Throughout its 33-year life cycle Philadelphia supported numerous operations including Operation Desert Storm in 1991. It was the first submarine to receive the Tomahawk land attack missile capability and was also the first Los Angeles submarine to be refueled at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery Maine. The ship also became the first Los Angeles class submarine to complete more than 1,000 dives.
 
The contract to build Philadelphia was awarded to Electric Boat Division at the General Dynamics Corporation in Groton Jan. 8, 1971. Philadelphia's keel was laid Aug. 12, 1972, and was launched Oct. 19, 1974 and was commissioned and officially put into service June 25, 1977.
 
The weekend of June 24 marked 34 years since Philadelphia was commissioned and one year since its decommissioning ceremony.