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U.S. and U.K. Submarine Help Clear the Air over Libya

 

Starting March 19, American and British submarines helped open the door for joint and coalition aircraft to establish a no-fly zone in Libya and shield Libyan civilians from the military forces of Muammar Gaddafi. In coordination with the guided missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55) and USS Barry (DDG 52), the guided missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) and the attack submarines USS Providence (SSN 719), USS Scranton (SSN 756), and HMS Triumph (S 93) launched Tomahawk missiles to knock out air defenses and communication nodes that could prevent U.S. and allied aircraft from operating freely over Libya.
Operation Odyssey Dawn marked the first combat launch of a Tomahawk missile from an SSGN. Deploying with 105 Tomahawk missiles, Florida has a Tomahawk capacity equivalent to more than two guided missile destroyers or eight SSNs. According to Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, "On the first day, the majority of U.S. Navy Tomahawks that were fired on Libya came off [Florida]."

(Top to bottom) Florida in the Bay of Naples March 4; Scranton off Sicily March 6; Providence begins her deployment last October.

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Ohio Replacement Achieves 'Milestone A'
 

The Ohio-class submarine replacement program received 'Milestone A' approval from the Defense Acquisition Board, enabling it to enter the technology development phase of the Department of Defense life cycle management system as of Jan. 10. During the technology development phase, the program will establish requirements and continue design and technology development efforts that will ultimately lead to a ship construction contract.

"The Navy is committed to ensuring that an affordable replacement ballistic missile submarine is designed, built, and delivered on time with the right capabilities to sustain the most survivable leg of our triad for many decades to come," said Program Executive Officer for Submarines Rear Adm. Dave Johnson.

The Defense Acquisition Board endorsed replacing the current 14 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines as they reach the end of their service life with 12 Ohio replacement submarines, each with 16 87-inch missile tubes, in an acquisition decision memorandum. Lead ship procurement is scheduled for 2019.

 

Aloha and Welcome Home, Hawaii!

 

The Virginia-class attack submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776) returned to her homeport, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, on Feb. 24 after a six-month scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, the first time a Virginia-class submarine had visited that region.

Hawaii departed Pearl Harbor on Aug. 25, 2010. Her first stop was the Philippine Sea, where she joined other units assigned to the U.S. Pacific Command in Exercise Valiant Shield 2010, a multifaceted exercise designed to hone joint forces' ability to locate, track and engage units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace.

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Hawaii (SSN 776) arrives in Busan for a routine port visit. The visit marked the first time a Virginia-class submarine visited the Republic of Korea.Photo by Lt. Jared Apollo Burgamy.

After a port visit to Guam, Hawaii teamed up with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group for an anti-submarine warfare exercise. The crew of USS Shoup (DDG 86) called Hawaii a "formidable opponent" that enabled them "to prove their abilities against a live submarine 'adversary' of considerable skill."

Hawaii also made port visits to Yokosuka, Japan in early September, Busan, South Korea in November, and Singapore in mid-January, in support of the 7th Fleet's commitment to growing maritime partnerships and its enduring commitment to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Hawaii exceeded all expectations and demonstrated the myriad capabilities the Virginia-class submarine brings to the challenging Western Pacific environment," said Cmdr. Steve Mack, Hawaii's commanding officer, adding that she "has set the stage for the success of future Virginia-class deployments."