USS Philadelphia “Finishes Strong” following 33-Year Service
GROTON, Conn. – The Los Angeles class attack submarine USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) was decommissioned June 25 during a ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London.
The decommissioning ceremony marks Philadelphia’s 33rd anniversary. She was commissioned and officially put into service on June 25, 1977.
The guest speaker, Rear Admiral Douglas J. McAneny, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the seventh commanding officer of Philadelphia.
McAneny said he was honored to speak at the ceremony, to have the opportunity to have one last look at his old boat, and to eat one more meal in the wardroom.
During his remarks, McAneny recognized the commanding officers, crewmembers, and families.
“We gather today not only to recognize the important role played by the leaders, the crew members, and the families,” he said, “but to say goodbye to our boat – USS Philadelphia.”
In addition, McAneny asked those that have served aboard Philadelphia to remember the sacrifices they endured and the freedom they fought to defend.
“The soul of USS Philadelphia lives on forever in her crews,” he said.
Throughout her service, Philadelphia has deployed to all regions of the globe in support of various operations vital to national security, including Desert Storm in 1991.
Cmdr. Dave Soldow, Philadelphia’s final Commanding Officer felt this ceremony marked a unique occasion.
“On one hand, it is truly heartwarming to see the enthusiastic support of the community for their Navy and the men who have volunteered to serve this great Nation of ours,” Soldow said. “On the other hand, it is indeed sad to take out of commission a warship that has so boldly and so proudly served the American people for all these years.”
Soldow also said that this warship is much more than technology and steel.
“These men who stand before you today, and those seated throughout the audience who came before them,” Soldow said, “represent some of the greatest American’s to ever serve this nation of ours.”
Thirty-nine years ago, the contract to build her was awarded to Electric Boat Division at the General Dynamics Corporation in Groton on Jan. 8, 1971. A year later, her keel was laid on Aug. 12, 1972. She was launched on Oct. 19, 1974.
Philadelphia completed her final deployment in February, conducting operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, and her crew served as ambassadors for the United States during port calls in Faslane, Scotland; Bahrain; and Gibraltar.
100625-N-3090M-130 GROTON, Conn. (June 25, 2010) – Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, salutes for the Admiral’s March and 13-gun salute, during the arrival of the official party for the USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) decommissioning ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London. McAneny was the seventh commanding officer of Philadelphia and guest speaker. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.
100625-N-3090M-255 GROTON, Conn. (June 25, 2010) – Electronics Technician 1st Class Nicholas Harr, USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) Assistant Navigator, lowers the commissioning pennant during the Los Angeles-class submarine’s decommissioning ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London. Philadelphia served the submarine force for 33 years. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.