Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700) returned to Groton, Conn., Nov. 25, just in time for Thanksgiving and following its final scheduled deployment after more than 30 years in service.
Led by Cmdr. Jack Houdeshell, Dallas transited more than 34,000 miles during a scheduled six-month cruise to operating regions in Europe and the Middle East.
“The crew performed superbly,” said Houdeshell. “They demonstrated the determination and perseverance that our Navy and country are founded on.”
The submarine’s crew of 140 Sailors departed Naval Submarine Base New London in May and made port calls to Bahrain, Diego Garcia, Spain and Portugal.
Upon return to Groton, Machinist’s Mate Fireman (SS) Sebastian Lefever held his baby girl Rilynn for the first time. Lefever’s wife Kara gave birth to Rilynn on July 9 just as Dallas was leaving port in Bahrain.
“Dallas families supporting each other allowed Dallas Sailors to stay on the job and complete the mission,” said Houdeshell. “Just as we serve, our families serve as well.”
Los Angeles-class attack submarines remain the backbone of the attack submarine force. They are equipped to hunt adversary vessels, attack land-based targets and support special forces.
In addition, they are able to conduct intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and mine warfare missions.
Dallas was the seventh out of 61 total Los Angeles-class submarines built. It was commissioned in 1981 and has deployed to every operational theater around the world ever since.
The submarine circumnavigated the globe and transited the Panama Canal during a six-month deployment in 1984. It also participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm in the early ’90s.
“Crews serving on the more seasoned submarines tend to take on the identity of the ship,” said Master Chief Fire Control Technician (SS) William D. Williams, chief of the boat.
Williams said the crew’s identity is hard to explain in words, but they refer to it as the “Dallas Difference.”
“You have to be part of it to experience it,” he said. “Our crew is certainly one of the finest I have ever served with.”
Press Release, November 26, 2013