Commander, Submarine Group Two

USS Pittsburgh Sailors Host Super Bowl Party Aboard Submarine

GROTON, Conn. - Sailors aboard Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) watched their namesake city's football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, take on the Green Bay Packers during a Super Bowl party aboard the submarine on Feb. 6. 

During the game, the crew snacked on pizza, nachos and mozzarella sticks in the crew’s mess, where footballs signed by the Steelers were on display.

The crew hung on the submarine’s sail a "Terrible Towel," a fan symbol created in 1975 by then-Steelers radio broadcaster Myron Cope.  The "Terrible Towel" waved in the wind atop Pittsburgh as the submarine returned from a regularly-scheduled deployment on Feb. 4, 2009, the same year of the Steelers' 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

“I certainly think that even without the Steelers playing we'd be doing something for the Super Bowl because it is like a national holiday essentially,” said Cmdr. Michael Savageaux, Pittsburgh’s commanding officer.  “But I think because it is our city, there's more interest and more excitement about it.”

The submarine, which has the motto “Heart of Steel,” enjoys a strong relationship with the “Steel City.”

“It's really a great city.  Every time we go there, the people have been remarkably friendly, really happy to have us in town.  They're genuinely nice people,” said Savageaux.

Last December, past and present commanding officers and the ship's sponsor of the submarine returned to the boat's namesake city to thank the Pittsburgh Council of the Navy League of the United States and the people of Pittsburgh for 25 years of support.

“We do a lot of stuff for them, but they also help us out.  They help sponsor our children's Christmas party each year.  The Pittsburgh Navy League sponsors a scholarship.  They also help provide awards for our Junior and Sailor of the Year program,” said Savageaux.

Last month, the commodore of Submarine Squadron 2 presented the 2010 Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") award to Pittsburgh.  The awards are presented by the commodore of each squadron to the submarine under their command which has demonstrated the highest level of battle readiness during the evaluation year.

Pittsburgh returned from a six-month deployment on Oct. 15, 2010 that involved conducting operations in the European Command area of responsibility.

Savageaux, a native of Grafton, Massachusetts, graduated with high distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.  In November 2002, he was awarded a Master of Arts in National Security Studies (with Distinction) from the Naval War College.

Fast-attack submarines like Pittsburgh have multi-faceted missions.  They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary's military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.

Pittsburgh, commissioned in November 1985 at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., is the fourth Navy vessel to be named for the people of Pittsburgh, and it is home to 13 officers and 121 enlisted sailors.

- USN -

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GROTON, Conn. (Feb. 6, 2011) Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) displays a Steelers "Terrible Towel" during Super Bowl XLV. Crew members on duty aboard the submarine watched the game in the crew's mess. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Patrick Evans/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Feb. 6, 2011) A newspaper photographer and TV cameraman take pictures of Sailors aboard USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) during a Super Bowl party. During the game, the crew displayed a large Pittsburgh Steelers "Terrible Towel" on the submarine's sail, showcasing support for their namesake city's football team. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Patrick Evans/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Feb. 6, 2011) Electronic's Techniciam 1st Class Joshua Peterson of USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) waves a Pittsburgh Steelers "Terrible Towel" during Super Bowl XLV. Crew members on duty aboard the Los Angeles-class submarine watched the game in the crew's mess. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Patrick Evans/Released)