Tag Archives: Naval Submarine Base New London

Eagle Home After Maintenance

The Coast Guard barque Eagle docked at Fort Trumbull after recent repairs.

The Coast Guard barque Eagle docked at Fort Trumbull after recent repairs. (Photo by Jon Persson)

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle departed Naval Submarine Base New London and returned to her home mooring at Fort Trumbull in New London, Thursday, December 20.

Eagle arrived at the base September 26 and began a three-month dockside maintenance availability period.  The $3.4 million dollar project included a complete renewal of the 132-foot mizzen-mast, an overhaul of the main steering station, significant structural refurbishments, and major berthing area modifications.

At Fort Trumbull, the Eagle crew will finish the ship’s required annual maintenance period and begin preparing for the spring and summer training deployments.  As part of the preparations, Eagle will undergo the bi-annual Command Assessment of Readiness and Training and Tailored Ships Training Availability inspections to ensure the ship is safe and the crew is properly trained for all operations.

Eagle worked closely with the Coast Guard yard and the Naval Submarine Base in preparation for this dockside availability.  After being away from homeport for more than 265 days during fiscal year 2012, Eagle was able to remain in Southeastern Connecticut and complete all required maintenance.  Eagle has moored at SUBASE for hurricane avoidance and mitigation in the past, but this is the first time in more than 20 years that the ship has completed a major maintenance period at the submarine base.

“Without the much-appreciated assistance from our friends at Groton, Eagle would have needed to return to the Coast Guard Yard facility in Baltimore this winter in order to complete this necessary maintenance,” said Capt. Raymond Pulver, Eagle’s commanding officer, “The Navy welcomed us with open arms and truly made us feel at home during our time in Groton.  Their support was integral to being able to care for our crew and let them spend a little more time at home with their families before getting back underway for the 2013 training deployments.  We are genuinely grateful for their cooperation in making life on Eagle a little bit more comfortable for the crew this year.”

At 295 feet in length, the Eagle, known as “America’s Tall Ship,” is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service.  Constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy, the Eagle was taken by the United States as a war reparation following World War II.

With more than 23,500 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging, the Eagle has served as a floating classroom to future Coast Guard officers since 1946, offering an at-sea leadership and professional development experience.  A permanent crew of six officers and 50 enlisted personnel maintain the ship and guide the trainees through an underway and in-port training schedule.

Navy Recognized Senator Lieberman as Honorary Submariner

On October 24, Navy leadership at the base recognized U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT) by making him an Honorary Submariner. Rear Admiral Richard Breckenridge, commander Submarine Group Two, pins Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) with a set of Dolphins, bestowing upon him the title of honorary submariner at Naval Submarine Base New London. Lieberman toured the newest Virginia Class fast-attack submarine, USS Mississippi (SSN 782), shortly before the pinning ceremony.

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

Captain Marc W. Denno, Commanding Officer, Naval Submarine Base, New London.

Every day, in the shadow of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, hundreds of local residents and visitors pass by an imposing conning tower and the polished granite wall of honor that encompass the Submarine Veterans of World War II Memorial East.

And whether by design or by impulse, many stop – drawn by these compelling visible reminders that the liberty and prosperity our Nation enjoys have been purchased… purchased by the sacrifice and service of 48 million men and women, who since our Nation’s founding, have donned the uniform and proudly stepped forward to defend our freedoms.

On Veterans Day, across our great land, Americans gather in public events or in private prayer to recognize these valiant men and women of our Armed Forces.

Ever since the first Veteran’s Day, originally “Armistice Day,” was established in 1919, Americans have paused to salute the service and remember the sacrifice of the men and women who have kept us free.
And many of those who gather can count themselves among our Nation’s more than 21 million living veterans.

Veterans past and present who have worn the cloth of our great Nation and contributed so much to guarding and maintaining the liberties we cherish.

President John F. Kennedy once said “in the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in the hour of its maximum danger…”

September 11, 2001 rung in that hour for the generation of active duty military members serving today.
We have been “granted the role of defending freedom.”

We view that critical mission as a sacred privilege and we follow in a long line of those that met and mastered that “maximum danger.”

I have the honor and pleasure of serving with some of these young men and women as I lead Naval Submarine Base New London.

These young service members support and crew the fifteen attack submarines stationed there.

They remind me everyday that the true strength of our Navy and our Nation does not lie in any aircraft, ship, submarine, sensor, or weapon.

The true strength of our great Nation and Navy lies in its men and women – America’s finest!

They follow an extraordinary legacy of honor, courage, and commitment; a legacy fashioned and forged by selfless service and sacrifice; a legacy passed onto them by the veterans they follow.

In the early days of the Second World War, Gen. George C. Marshall was asked if America had a secret weapon to win the conflict.

He replied that we did have such a weapon — he called it “the best darn kids in the world.”

I can assure you that the “best darn kids” still wear this Nation’s uniform!

I, for one, could not be prouder to serve with them and I thank you for all that you do to support them.

So this Veterans Day, I ask you to join me in saluting all those who wear or have worn the cloth of this great Nation.

I feel fortunate to enjoy the peace, liberty, and security that they have provided my family, my community, and my Nation.



Thank you,

Marc W. Denno
Captain, U.S. Navy
Commanding Officer
Naval Submarine base, New London

USS Toledo Returns From Deployment

by Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg

With cheers from family and friends rocking the piers in New London, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769) returned home to the Naval Submarine Base on October 12, following a nearly seven-month deployment.

When the ship left March 23, USS Toledo deployed to the European Command Area of Responsibility to supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

“Your crew demonstrated outstanding determination, agility, and resiliency. Furthermore, Toledo‘s unflinching ability to respond to emergent tasking was the true test of a well-prepared high-performance warship, you set the example for the fleet,” said Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic in a naval message praising USS Toledo for its achievements. “A grateful nation is thankful for the sacrifices made by the crew and families of Toledo.”

Cmdr. Sam Geiger, the submarine’s commanding officer, reflected on successfully returning one day prior to the Navy’s 237th birthday.

“Returning a day prior to the Navy’s birthday is a wonderful way to celebrate and recognize the Navy’s sustained commitment to our nation’s defense,” said Geiger. “Naval Submarine Base New London is filled with fellow submariners who all understand and have accomplished real-world operations like we did aboard USS Toledo. I could not be prouder of my sailors’ performance.”

Geiger also added that while deployed his sailors performed superbly. “The crew performed as I expected them to, superbly. All submariners learn early on to rely on each other and my sailors did just that every day,” said Geiger, who was looking forward to his crew having some well-deserved time off. “We have been home for a total of five days in the past eight months—and nothing is like being home.”

Family members have looked forward to the return.

“We are all so happy to have our sailors on the USS Toledo home safe. While they were far from our arms during this deployment they were never far from our hearts and our prayers. We are very proud of the entire crew on the job that they have done and will continue to do for our country,” said Priscilla Picerno, ombudsman for the vessel.

Some sailors were selected to be first in line to greet their family members. Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Daryl Escano greeted his five-year old son, Daniel; while Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SS) Matthew Anderson greeted his fiancee, Hallie Kay.

“He just turned five and doesn’t realize how special his task was,” said Sharon Escano. “When I found out that my son was selected I was overjoyed for him to have this unique opportunity to greet his father.”

During the deployment a total of five babies were born. Two recent arrivals will greet their fathers for the first time. Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SS) Daniel Edwards greeted his son Jaxson, and Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS) Robert Ekwall greeted his son Keegan.

USS Toledo, commissioned Feb. 24, 1995, is the second U.S. warship named for the people of the northwestern Ohio city. The first was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser. Submarine Toledo has a complement of 139 officers and enlisted crew.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit: www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.

For more photos, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/comsubgru2/sets/72157631753897712/.

Squadron 4 Change of Command

story & photos
by Jessica Warzeniak

Captain Richard “Rick” P. Breckenridge turned over command of Submarine Squadron 4 to Captain Robert Clark II, in a Change of Command ceremony at 2:00 p.m., June 27, at USS Virginia (SSN 774) pier side at the Naval Submarine Base New London. The Change of Command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally signifies to officers and personnel the continuity of authority of the command.

“I am proud and fortunate to serve in a profession where our navy is second to none and our submarines are the most advanced,” said Capt. Breckenridge. During his tour as commodore, Submarine Squadron 4 became the Virginia Class “Center of Excellence” and assisted in the deployment and interfleet transfer of USS Seawolf (SSN 21) and USS Connecticut (SSN 22). Capt. Breckenridge will next serve on the staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

“One thing remands constant, over the last 200 years this great nation was formed from sweat and blood,” said Capt. Clark. “No matter how many things change – freedom is never free.” Capt. Clark previously served as Executive Officer aboard USS Grayling (SSN 646) and USS Hampton (SSN 767) and as Commanding Officer aboard USS Connecticut. A native of West Chester, PA, Capt. Clark graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1984 and is a 2007 inductee into the West Chester East High School Hall of Fame.

Rear Admiral Bruce E. Grooms, commander, Submarine Group 2, gave the introductory remarks. The guest speaker was Rear Admiral Cecil Haney, director, Submarine Warfare Division.

USS Providence Awarded Prestigious Arleigh Burke Trophy

story & photos
by Jessica Warzeniak

Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presented the Atlantic Fleet Arleigh Burke Trophy to the Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) during a ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London on June 12.

The award is presented annually to the ship or aviation squadron – one in the Atlantic Fleet and one in the Pacific Fleet – that achieved the greatest improvement during the preceding year in operational readiness, inspections, retention and improvement in the Battle Efficiency Award program. Providence was rated six out of six in 2006, but with hard work and dedication, the 140-man crew was able to raise their rating to one out of six, earning them this distinction.

“A unit this size, to be able to be the best in the fleet… It’s extraordinary,” said Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command. The Admiral explained that compared to a destroyer or other vessels in the fleet, submarines have fewer areas that are rated, making it more difficult for improvement. “Hats off to you! It’s really unusual, but you did it!”

“This isn’t individuals or a small group of individuals,” said Commander Michael Holland, Commanding Officer, USS Providence. “This is every one of you doing things very well, for a very long time.”

During the ceremony, Admiral Greenert passed out awards the crew earned, including the Dolphins Machinist Mate Second Class Daniel Messier earned by passing his submarine qualifications recently.

Providence returned last spring from a demanding seven-month around-the-world deployment, including the execution of three missions in the Western Pacific. Providence was also awarded the Tactical Operations White “T” as part of the 2007 Battle Efficiency Award program.