By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ahron Arendes, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs
BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) — The fast-attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21) returned to its homeport of Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton Jan. 21, concluding a six-month deployment.
This was Seawolf’s first deployment since 2009.
“It feels great to be back. There are a lot of happy, smiling faces here, who can’t wait to see their loved ones and get back home. It’s always great coming back from a deployment,” said Seawolf commanding officer Capt. Broderick Berkhout.
After Seawolf’s last deployment, the ship underwent a 30-month depot modernization period, where the ship was overhauled and upgraded.
“This was very challenging deployment for the crew. We had a lot to do to get ready and do the challenging things we do on deployment,” said Berkhout. “They maintained a 90 percent operational tempo and were able to meet all of the tasking required of us by the fleet commander. It couldn’t have been done without every single Sailor that’s part of my crew that worked hard to get the ship [ready]. I’m very proud of them and I think we proved that the Seawolf is a capable platform that provides a lot of mission capability to the theater commander.”
Commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 5 Capt. Jeffrey Jablon said he’s proud of the job Seawolf did in not only getting the ship ready to deploy, but performing well and making it back safely.
“Seawolf did a fantastic job, so we welcome them home and celebrate what a great job that they did,” said Jablon. “This was their first deployment in over five years and there was big turnover during their three years in the shipyard, so it’s a big testament to their hard work and proficiency that they did extraordinarily well on their missions.
Seawolf, commissioned July 19, 1997, is the first of the Navy’s three Seawolf-class submarines, all of which are homeported in the Pacific Northwest – Connecticut and Seawolf at Bremerton, Wash., and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Seawolf, originally intended as a class of 29 submarines, the end of the Cold War and budget constraints led to a restructuring of the class to three submarines. The Seawolf is significantly quieter than any Los Angeles class submarine, faster, has more torpedoes tubes and can carry more weapons – up to 50 torpedoes or missiles, or 100 mines.