Virginia-Class Boats Sailing Into Action

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine PCU New Hampshire (SSN 778) makes her way down the Thames River for the first times as she embarks on Alpha Sea Trails. New Hampshire is the fifth Virginia-class submarine built and is scheduled to be commissioned this fall. U.S. Navy photo by John Narewski

By Lt. James Stockman, Commander, Submarine Force Public Affairs

Out of the nine fast-attack boats underway in the , four of them are Virginia-class submarines.
USS Virginia (SSN 774), USS Texas (SSN 775), USS North Carolina (SSN 777) and Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) (SSN 778) are all currently conducting exercises and tests off the Atlantic coast.
USS Hawaii (SSN 776), the first Virginia-class boat to deploy, is currently at General Dynamics Electric Boat conducting a post-shakedown availability, an industrial activity availability assigned to correct deficiencies found during the shakedown cruise or to accomplish other authorized improvements.
"Having three of the four operational Virginia-class boats and PCU New Hampshire at sea is a reflection of the hard work, dedication and team work that is our submarine force," said Capt. Robert Clark, Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 4 commodore. "This will become a common occurrence in the future, but today it's the crowning achievement of a huge cast of people who made it possible."
SUBRON 4 has become known as the "Virginia-class Center of Excellence." They are the parent squadron to every Virginia-class boats' transition to become an operational fleet unit.
"It's a real feather in the cap of the submarine force to be able to take a new design from concept through real employment in such a short time and in such an efficient and effective manner," said .
Virginia-class attack submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.

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