The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Newport News (SSN 750) returned to its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk from deployment, July 18.
Under the command of Cmdr. Dave Fassel, Newport News returns from a deployment where it executed the chief of naval operations' maritime strategy by supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.
Newport News reached an incredible milestone of 1,000 dives and spent 137 continuous days underway, both a testament to the quality and dedication of shipbuilders, maintenance professionals, and submarine crews.
“The level of dedication, teamwork, resiliency and heart this crew demonstrated during an extended seven-month deployment is just amazing,” Fassel said. “The fact that we were able to spend 137 continuous days at sea while managing our equipment status and food inventory is a true testament to the mental toughness and sacrifice every Sailor exhibited to ensure Newport News was on station when the country called upon her.”
As the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic spread across the globe, Newport News continued to conduct operations.
Machinist’s Mate (Nuclear) Second Class Tyler Lott recounts the crew’s efforts during an at-sea replenishment, an operation rarely conducted by attack submarines, but necessary due to COVID-19.
“My proudest moment during deployment was our resupply at sea,” said Lott. “It was an expertly coordinated and executed effort, and we got the much needed supplies to continue our mission. I was proud to play my small role in this success.”
Cheri Lott, the wife of Tyler Lott, is happy to have her husband home from his seven-month deployment.
"Deployments are always hard, but as a nurse during this pandemic it has been the most difficult we have experienced yet,” Cheri said. “Tyler and I are newlyweds, and I am so excited to have my husband home and start our lives together."
During the deployment, Newport News steamed approximately 45,000 nautical miles and conducted one port visit to Diego Garcia, with limitations that protected the crew from COVID-19 and offered them an opportunity for rest and relaxation while also providing logistical support.
“Due to the effects of COVID-19 and the need to remain a battle-ready asset, Newport News was restricted to the pier to ensure there was no risk to the crew to contract the virus,” Fassel said. “Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia and Diego Garcia Morale, Welfare and Recreation truly helped the crew get some well-deserved rest and relaxation after an arduous 137 days at sea.”
While operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, Newport News participated in a bilateral interoperability exercise with the French ship (FS) Languedoc and an anti-submarine warfare exercise with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.
Twenty-eight enlisted Sailors and five officers earned their submarine warfare qualification, known as "dolphins," while four officers promoted, 15 enlisted Sailors advanced to the next paygrade and 30 reenlisted.
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.
Newport News, the third ship to bear the name of the Virginia shipbuilding city, is 360 feet long, displaces 6,900 tons of water, and can travel in excess of 25 knots.