Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Helena (SSN 725) made the seamless transition from the dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) in Portsmouth, N.H., to the waters of the Piscataqua River with the help of their shipyard project team Sept. 9.
Shipyard workers, submariners and others gathered at the Shipyard Mall at PNS to celebrate Helena's departure from dry dock.
During the gathering, PNS Commander Capt. Bryant Fuller congratulated Helena's team and PNS employees.
"Helena is an example of people, standards and processes," said Fuller, referring to the shipyard's current maxim. "It has been the model for the way forward."
Scott Kimmel, project superintendent for Helena, personified Fuller's statement by giving the submarine's dry dock keys to the dry dock's next occupant, USS Virginia (SSN 774), which arrived at PHS Sept. 1.
Helena arrived at the shipyard Sept. 2, 2009, for extended maintenance, including several system upgrades. Helena is currently homeported in San Diego. The boat is projected to change homeports to Naval Station Norfolk in the spring of 2010.
Helena was commissioned July 11, 1987. The boat's motto is "Proud and Fearless."