USS Columbia Recognized for Last Deployment

Monday, September 11, 2006
USS Columbia (SSN 771) received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its last deployment, Sept. 5, just minutes before setting the maneuvering detail and departing for another.

Commander, Submarine Squadron 3, Capt. Joseph Tofalo, presented the Meritorious Unit Commendation to Columbia’s crew as they said their goodbyes to their loved ones at Pearl Harbor and prepared to leave for a surge deployment to the Western Pacific. In the award citation, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen praised Columbia for conducting an operation “of great importance to national security” and for providing “invaluable lessons for future operations and directly (enhancing) fleet, theater and national objectives.”

Cmdr. Gene Sievers, Columbia’s commanding officer, said his crew did an “extraordinary” job keeping the submarine in a ready status, despite returning from the deployment only six months ago. “Normally after you return, you stand down and move into maintenance period,” said Sievers. “But the crew has maintained the ship in top shape, immediately going through the certification process.” During that time, Columbia was called upon at the last minute to participate in RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) 2006 exercises, where his crew spent three weeks in July operating as part of the binational force with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. Sievers gave particular credit to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for helping Columbia meet her deployment schedule. He said an emergent maintenance issue just one month before Columbia was due to deploy was fixed by Shipyard divers rather than by putting the submarine into dry dock. "They turned what otherwise would have been an emergent docking into a minor four-day pierside repair," he said. Columbia’s award comes on the heels of another significant recognition. Just two weeks ago, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Gary Roughead presented Columbia’s crew with the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy, presented annually to the most improved operational unit in the fleet.

Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS/DS) Gawain Brown, an auxiliaryman from St. Louis, Mo., said he is looking forward to this deployment. “It’s a great feeling keeping family, friends and loved ones safe,” he said. Even family members sad to see their loved ones leave recognized that deployments are the most important part of their job.

“You never want to see them leave,” said Christina Schreiner, Columbia’s ombudsman. “But we know the importance of their job out there.” Commissioned Oct. 9, 1995, Columbia is the 60th submarine of the Los Angeles class. Columbia displaces more than 6,900 tons, is 360 feet long, and can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots and attain depths of more than 800 feet. Columbia's shorter surge deployment is a part of the Fleet Response Plan (FRP), a program developed to change the way ships deploy and to provide the United States with a greater range of naval options, adding the element of flexibility to naval efficiency. The idea behind FRP is to keep the Navy ready to surge and to vary the lengths of deployments, meaning the Navy will be more flexible, ready to deploy whenever, wherever.

Source: NavNews

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Schlumberger Announces Q1 Results

Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) today reported first-quarter 2014 revenue from continuing operations of $11.24 billion versus $11.91 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, and $10.

Russia Ships First Oil From Offshore Arctic Platform

President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's first shipment of Arctic offshore oil on Friday, saying the platform decried by environmentalists will help Moscow expand its global energy markets share.

Shipping Turns From Banks to Equity Markets for Cash

Shipping companies are turning to equity markets to fill a growing funding gap, betting that investors hungry for decent returns will provide capital to a sector

Navy

Keel-Laid for Navy's 10th LCS at Austal Yard

The Navy and Austal USA held a keel-laying ceremony for the future 'USS Gabrielle Giffords', the Navy's 10th littoral combat ship (LCS), in Mobile, Ala., informs

NATO to bolster defence of E.European Allies

NATO is sending part of its naval rapid reaction force to the Baltic Sea as part of a drive to step up the defence of eastern European allies in response to the crisis in Ukraine,

UN Seeks Sanctions Waiver to Ship Arms to Mali

The United Nations is seeking an exemption from a U.N. Security Council arms embargo on Ivory Coast so it can ship weapons and military equipment across the East

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0917 sec (11 req/sec)