PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii April 6, 2018) The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a six-month Western Pacific deployment, April 6. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Hinton/ Released)
Friends and families of the crew gathered on the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to welcome back the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) as she returned from deployment, April 6.
Bremerton successfully completed a six-month deployment while conducting operations in support of national security.
“The entire crew performed with excellence,” said Master Chief Fire Control Technician (SS) Wade Jacobson, Bremerton’s chief of the boat. “In six months we took the nation’s longest-serving submarine more than 42,000 nautical miles, executing multiple missions in some of the toughest and busiest environments in the world and conducted five foreign port visits.”
During the deployment, 25 Sailors earned their submarine warfare qualification, and 19 Sailors achieved advanced supervisory qualifications.
“I want the American public to know that they should be incredibly proud of every single person on this boat,” said Jacobson. “Each one has sacrificed something to do the job, and it can sometimes be stressful, but through grit and determination, each one has come through successfully. “
The completion of her Western Pacific deployment marks the end the ship’s active service in the Pacific and will soon head to Bremerton, Washington for deactivation.
“The Bremerton is one of the most impressive engineering marvels in human history,” said Jacobson. “It is truly incredible for a warship to be operational at such deep and strenuous depths for nearly 40 years.”
While deployed, Bremerton made port calls to Singapore and the Philippines, and some of the crew used the visits to volunteer and interact with host countries.
“The best part of deployment for me was getting the chance to play soccer with children we visited in the Philippines,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class (SS) Daniel Kim, a Sailor assigned to Bremerton. “It was a great opportunity to see and interact with the local community. Everybody had a good time out on the field, and I know the kids took pride in beating everyone from the boat.”
Jacobson extolled the crew for their flexibility during the challenging deployment.
“Every curveball thrown our way was hit out of the park,” said Jacobson. “It took a lot of work to keep our classic submarine in fighting condition be we executed every assignment as requested with zero lost mission days.”
Bremerton is the tenth ship of the Los Angeles class and the oldest commissioned submarine in the U.S. Navy. Her keel was laid by General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut in May 1976. She is named in honor of the city of Bremerton, Washington, home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and a city with a long association with both the Navy and the Submarine Force.