USS Pittsburgh Returns from Six-Month Deployment
GROTON, Conn. – 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, June 27, following a regularly scheduled six-month deployment.
Pittsburgh departed for deployment in December 2011 and conducted maritime security and theater security cooperation efforts in the 5th and 6th Fleet area of operations. Pittsburgh steamed more than 29,000 miles over the course of her six-month deployment.
Pittsburgh is commanded by Cmdr. Michael Savageaux, a native of Grafton, Mass., who reflected on the successful deployment.
"The crew's performance has been second to none," said Savageaux. "The team's flexibility allowed the Pittsburgh to absorb numerous shifts in tasking, and to execute successfully every time."
Savageaux added that Pittsburgh has deployed more since July 2008 than any other ship in the Atlantic submarine fleet, completing three full six-month deployments in every area of operations in the world, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and Indian Oceans.
"I am proud of your team's superb execution of operations vital to national security. Pittsburgh's efforts supported U.S. Central, African and European commands," Vice Adm. John Richardson, commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic said in a naval message in which he praised Savageaux and crew for their achievements while on deployment. "Your ability to sustain crew proficiency and successfully complete all assigned missions is validation of your thorough preparations for this deployment."
Pittsburgh visited the following ports during their six-month deployment: Bahrain; Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; and Rota, Spain.
"The men take a lot of pride in our hard-steaming reputation, but it is always great to be home," said Savageaux.
USS Pittsburgh Ombudsman Lauren Bomar echoed the commanding officer's sentiments on the excitement of the Sailors' return to homeport.
"Deployment went very well for the families of the USS Pittsburgh," said Bomar. "We are very proud of the job our guys did and all they accomplished. We are all excited to have them home and to see them on the pier."
Bomar also helped to coordinate the first kiss and first baby greeting when the submarine arrived, also assisted with the second annual Operation Shower event held on June 19.
"It was amazing being a part of Operation Shower this year. Seeing all the ladies being blessed with so much was really touching. It meant a lot to our new moms and me that Operation Shower and their sponsors thought of the mothers while their Sailors were deployed," said Bomar.
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 Pittsburgh, the families of Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) also welcomed their loved ones as they returned to Naval Submarine Base New London following a regularly scheduled six-month deployment.
USS Pittsburgh, commissioned on Nov. 23, 1985, was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, and is the fourth American warship to be named for the city of Pittsburgh.