USS Annapolis Returns from a Six-Month Deployment
GROTON, Conn. - The families of Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) welcomed their loved ones as they returned to Naval Submarine Base New London, June 27, following a regularly scheduled six-month deployment.
Annapolis departed for deployment Jan. 3 and conducted maritime security and theater security cooperation efforts in the Fifth and Sixth Fleet area of operations. Annapolis steamed more than 31,000 miles over the course of her six-month deployment.
Annapolis is commanded by Cmdr. John Gearhart, a native of Stillwater, Okla., who reflected on the performance of his crew and preparation required for their deployment.
"The Annapolis team performed superbly throughout a myriad of complex tasking and challenging operational environments," said Gearhart. "This type of performance could only be carried out through exceptional teamwork, a committed effort, solid leadership and a fighting spirit that is second to none."
Gearhart added that the pre-deployment training and maintenance support were crucial in enabling the crew to maintain a high state of readiness throughout their deployment.
"These resources were judiciously employed to ensure that the Annapolis team was very well prepared to support all mission tasking during our deployment," said Gearhart.
Annapolis visited the following ports during their six-month deployment Bahrain; Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Toulon, France; and Souda Bay, Greece.
Gearhart added that his crew is looking forward to reuniting with their families, especially prior to the Fourth of July.
"The return from deployment offers a time to reunite with loved ones," said Gearhart. "The Annapolis team is very happy to be home and ready to stand down for a few weeks."
USS Annapolis Co-Ombudsman Eva Foxhoven shared her excitement for the reunion of Sailors and their families.
"I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful family as we all gather to welcome home our Sailors from a successful six-month deployment," said Foxhoven. "We have awaited this day for what seems like an eternity, but can finally look forward to reacquainting with our Sailors and having some much deserved down time with them."
While deployed, five Sailors from USS Annapolis became new dads. Foxhoven and her co-Ombudsman Melissa Coers, coordinated the first kiss and first baby greetings when the submarine arrived, also assisted with the second annual Operation Shower event held on June 19.
Coers a mother of four, of which three of her children are triplets, thanked the organization for recognizing expectant mothers from USS Annapolis.
"Operation Shower was not around when I had my children, but what a great experience for our military spouses that sacrifice so much," said Coers. "Every day is a day closer to reuniting. That mindset helps all of us."
Operation Shower provided "showers in a box" for 40 expectant and new military moms, whose spouses were deployed.
In addition to the return of USS Annapolis, the families of Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) welcomed their loved ones as they returned to Naval Submarine Base New London, following a regularly scheduled six-month deployment.
USS Annapolis was commissioned on April 11, 1992 and is named in honor of the capital city in Maryland. It is the fourth warship to bear the name of Annapolis.