Thursday, December 22, 2011

USS Columbia Returns to Pearl Harbor



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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Dec. 21, 2011) Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 762) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a six-month deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge) 
Los Angeles-class fast-attack nuclear powered submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Wednesday, Dec. 21 following a six-month deployment to the western Pacific (WESTPAC) region. 

"I could not be more proud of the crew." said Cmdr. Dennis Klein, Commanding Officer, Columbia. "Throughout the entire deployment, their performance, ability to accomplish the mission, and dedication to success was second to none" 

The experience gained by each Sailor, whether it is their first time deploying or WESTPAC veterans, is invaluable and greatly enhanced the overall ship performance and future force readiness according to Klein. 

"I am so happy my husband got back in time for the holidays, said Christina Martinez, wife of Sonar Technician Submarines 1st Class (SS) Philip Martinez. "The days went by so slow, but the months flew by so quickly!" 

Columbia, commissioned in 1995, was the last 688-class submarine to be built at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Conn. This submarine is one of the most versatile ships in the world, capable of numerous types of missions in a myriad of regions including long range Tomahawk strike operations, anti-submarine and surface ship tracking operations, surveillance and intelligence gathering, and even Special Forces insertions. 

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