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Crewmembers of USS Los Angeles (SSN-688) manned the rails for the last time on Jan. 23, 2010, for a decommissioning ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles. The decommissioning was a significant milestone in the history of the U.S. Submarine Force.

Los Angeles, now undergoing deactivation at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., and commissioned on Nov. 13, 1976. She was the lead ship of a class that set a new standard for speed, quietness and combat capability. She and the 61 hulls that followed, including 23 “688i” boats with even greater capability, also constituted the most numerous class of nuclear submarines ever built by any country.

Having served America well for three decades or more, older boats of this landmark class are now leaving the fleet to make way for new submarines of the Virginia (SSN-774) class, which represents today’s state of the art.

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Sailors man the rails on USS
Los Angeles (SSN-688) during the decommissioning ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Wells.


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Cmdr. Steve Hall (fourth from the right), now serving in the Manpower and Training Branch of OPNAV N87, attended the National Defense University Foundation’s American Patriot Award Gala in November 2009. The 2009 award was presented to Gen. David Petraeus (third from the left) and the men and women of Central Command. Cmdr. Hall served in Iraq as the Brigade Electronic Warfare Officer for the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade from August 2007 to May 2008. Photo by Event Digital Photography, Inc.


The Ship Signatures Department of Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD) recognized the 50th anniversary of the first submarine acoustic trial in a Dec. 10 ceremony attended by more than 200 current and former managers and employees.

“For 50 years, the men and women of the Carderock Division have labored to advance the science and art of acoustic trials,” said NSWCCD Commander Capt. Chris Meyer. “Advances pioneered by these dedicated scientists, engineers and technicians in the areas of signature measurement, analysis and performance improvement contributed significantly to America’s victory in the Cold War and continue to propel America’s warfighting capability into a new century.”

“U.S. submarines enjoy a distinct acoustical advantage over all other submarines, and that stealth is at the very root of their warfighting power,” said keynote speaker Jack Evans, executive director for the Program Executive Officer, Submarines (PEO Subs). “Carderock represents the world leader in developing stealthy technologies, and your efforts here give U.S. submarines their unique and unquestioned technological and tactical advantages.”

USS Skipjack (SSN-585), best known for its revolutionary teardrop hull form, became the first submarine to undergo an acoustic trial in July 1959. Since then, the acoustic trial program has played a vital role in areas such as defining acoustic deficiencies, determining the quietest operational modes, setting future acoustic requirements, developing and assessing new hardware and procedures, developing and assessing retrofits for silencing, and refining tactics.

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Nelson Keech, Chief Engineer for Signature Analysis in NSWC Carderock’s Signature Characterization and Analysis Division, unveils a mural commemorating the 50th anniversary of submarine acoustic trials for (left to right) NSWC Carderock Commander Capt. Chris Meyer; Program Executive Office for Submarines Executive Director Jack Evans; James King, head of Carderock’s Signatures Department, and Bob Kollars, head of the Signature Characterization and Analysis Division. Photo by Ryan Hanyok.



In the early years, radiated and self-noise measurements were obtained by personnel based at Carderock, and structureborne, airborne and long range detection measurements by those based at Annapolis. The Base Closure Commission later closed the Annapolis site and consolidated the acoustic trial organization at Carderock.



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