by MC1 Steven Myers
photos by ET1 John Sabados
The Los Angeles-Class Submarine USS Memphis (SSN 691) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London Saturday, Nov. 21 after a seven-month deployment with the USS Bataan (LHD 5) Expeditionary Strike Group in the U.S. European and Central Command areas of responsibility.
For the Sailors aboard, it was more than just a homecoming; it was an opportunity to be with the family for the holidays.
“We’re going to Disney World,” said first hug recipient Megan Jackson. “Our daughter Kandyce turns five on Thanksgiving Day, so it’s dinner with the princesses this year. She is so excited that Daddy gets to be there too.”
First kiss winner Sara Gates had to contend with her own fears amid the excitement.
“I promised myself I wouldn’t cry,” she said. “It’s been so long. Two hundred and four days but who’s counting.”
Memphis commanding officer Cmdr. Glenn Pendrick may have counted days; he definitely counted the miles.
“We traveled nearly 42,000 miles,” said Pendrick. “The crew did an outstanding job throughout our time away, and I am incredibly proud of their accomplishments.”
Attack submarines like Memphis are designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; project power ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles and special operation forces; carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; support carrier strike groups; and engage in mine warfare.