USS Virginia Participates in Deplaquing Ceremony, Marking End of Maintenance Period
KITTERY, Maine (NNS) -- Virginia-class attack submarine USS Virginia (SSN 774) participated in a "deplaquing" ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard April 3, marking the end of the submarine's maintenance period.
The Naval Civilian Manager's Association hosted Virginia's deplaquing ceremony at the historic Tirante Tavern. Cmdr. Tim Salter, Virginia's commanding officer participated in removing the plaque from the wall and expressed his appreciation of the local community for their support during the boat's maintenance period.
"The entire crew is extremely appreciative of the Portsmouth community opening its homes and hearts to us," said Salter. "The city went above and beyond at welcoming us not only as visitors, but practically as family members. They made every effort to include us in all local events and social gatherings."
This ceremony officially bids farewell to the ship's crew and families from the seacoast community and shipyard.
"We're very glad to be reuniting with our family and friends at our homeport in Groton," said Salter, "but it's a bitter-sweet goodbye to the generous Portsmouth community."
Virginia arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in September of 2010 for the first-of-its-class major maintenance availability. While at the shipyard, Virginia underwent an extended dry-docking selective restricted availability consisting of various maintenance work and several system upgrades.
During her maintenance period, Virginia's crew of 139 officers and enlisted Sailors participated in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with the local Portsmouth fire department, and helped stitch the national 9/11 memorial flag while it visited Portsmouth prior to its arrival in New York, Sept. 11, 2011. Virginia earned the 2010 Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") award, which is presented to a submarine crew that demonstrated the highest level of battle readiness in each squadron.
Virginia is preceded by nine vessels that share the same namesake, the Commonwealth of Virginia. These nine vessels include four that predate the 1900s; the oldest was a frigate captured by the British in 1778 during the Revolutionary War. Of the five vessels built during the 1900s, the most recently decommissioned "USS Virginia" was a Virginia-class cruiser commissioned in 1976.
The completion of submarine availabilities are critical in the maintenance of today's fleet and is essential to maintaining warfighter readiness.