Friends, family members, and fellow submariners welcomed the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Asheville (SSN-758) back to San Diego April 1. The submarine returned from a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
Asheville had a busy schedule performing national security missions and taking part in two international exercises. This made for long days for the crew, but Asheville’s Sailors were up for the challenge.
“The deployment was, and is always, a true test on what a crew is made of,” said Petty Officer 1st Class (SS) Thurston Ball. “The crew of USS Asheville proved to have the guts to make it happen. Personally, I'm very proud of being a part of team Asheville.”
In addition to 18-hour working days, many Asheville Sailors took time to improve themselves through personal and professional development. They squeezed in exercise and even at-sea college courses during off-duty time.
Nine sailors also completed the rigorous qualification in submarines and earned their “fish.” The dolphin warfighting pin is a certification by the commanding officer that an individual has completed the arduous task of learning details about all aspects of the submarine including damage control, warfighting and tactics, engineering, and everyday “submarining.”
The deployment wasn’t all work, though, as Asheville made several port calls. Stops included Guam, Singapore, Japan, Saipan, and Hawaii. Each location offered many liberty opportunities for Asheville’s crew, and each Sailor had his favorite.
“My favorite was probably Singapore,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class (SS) Austin Carter. “The transportation was great, the weather was beautiful and the people were cool. I took a lot of pictures and would love to go back there sometime.”
Photos by Petty Officer 1st Class (AW/SW/NAC) Daniel Woods