The Virginia-class submarine USS Minnesota (SSN 783) transits the Thames River toward Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., Nov. 26. Minnesota and crew, operating under Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) FOUR, returned to homeport from a scheduled seven-month deployment in support of the Navy's maritime strategy of supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

GROTON, Conn. 
Many people were shopping for sales on the day after Thanksgiving, but the families of the crew of the USS Minnesota (SSN 783) got the best deal. The Virginia-class fast attack submarine returned to Naval Submarine Base New London on Friday, Nov. 26, after a seven-month deployment.

“I can speak for all of our Groton shipmates when I offer our tremendous admiration and pride for the accomplishment of a well-executed deployment,” he continued. “And we extend our eternal gratitude to the families whose own service and sacrifice enabled such a bold commitment to liberty and the values we hold dear as a nation. New England's winter will be a little warmer with their submariners home once again.”

The ceremonial first kiss upon return to homeport was awarded to Steffanie Dube and Seaman Kyle Hodgson, while the first hug was awarded to Brittany Porter and her husband, Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Porter.

“It’s been a long time and it was a challenging deployment,” she said. “This was the first deployment for a lot of people and the first deployment married for a lot of people.”

During its deployment, Minnesota steamed more than 45,000 nautical miles.

“I’ve been inspired by the crew of Minnesota on this nearly seven-month deployment. The men and women of USS Minnesota exceeded all my expectations and their contributions to the nation will have a lasting impact,” said Cmdr. Bradley Bozin, commanding officer of USS Minnesota. “I couldn’t be more proud or humbled to have served alongside them. We thank our families for the sacrifices they have made during this deployment, our success rests in their strength. I would also like to thank Vice Adm. William Houston (commanding officer, Naval Submarine Forces and Submarine Force Atlantic), Commodore John Craddock (Commander, Task Force 69), Commodore Stafford and their staffs for the hard work to get us back home for this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.”

Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

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