Los Angeles fast-attack submarine USS Helena (SSN 725) arrived at its new homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Va., June 15.
Helena, commanded by Cmdr. Paul L. Dinius, was previously homeported in San Diego and recently completed an extended maintenance period, including an engineering overhaul, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in Kittery, Maine.
“The men of Helena completed the engineering overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in less than 20 months, which is the fastest extended maintenance period in the shipyard in a decade,” said Dinius. “While we are sad to not to be returning to our friends in our previous fleet homeport of San Diego and will miss our new friends from our recent homeport in the seacoast community at Portsmouth, we welcome the opportunity to call Naval Station Norfolk home.”
While in the shipyard, Helena was actively involved in numerous community-related events in the local community and in the New England area, including visitations and speaking engagements at schools, veterans’ centers, and retirement homes, and participating in other various community venues.
In recognizing their enormous commitment and support within the community, Helena was presented the 2010 Promoting Equal Opportunity Among All People (PEOple) Award – the first submarine command ever to win the award at PNSY.
Dinius said that Helena arrived to Norfolk ready to contribute to the area’s deep Navy roots.
“Our Sailors are well-aware of the history the Navy has carved into the Hampton Roads area,” said Dinius. “We are ready and willing to build upon the legacy of the submarine force in the area, and become significant ambassadors of the Navy to the [local] community.”
Helena will be assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron 6 in Norfolk, under the command of Capt. Eugene Sievers.
Fast-attack submarines like Helena have multi-faceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary’s military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.
Helena is the 38th Los Angeles-class attack submarine and fourth ship to bear the name of the capital city, Helena, Mont. Built by the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics Corp., the 360-ft. submarine was commissioned July 11, 1987 and employs a crew of 16 officers and 134 enlisted Sailors.
Source: navy, June 16, 2011;