Family and friends lined the submarine piers of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 21, for a warm aloha welcome as the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) returned from a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific.
The excited crowd cheered and waved signs, banners, and leis as the submarine came into view in the harbor. The submarine’s commanding officer, Cmdr. John Friedman, said the crew was outstanding and productive throughout the deployment.
“The ship and crew performed extremely well during our deployment to the 7th Fleet,” said Friedman. “I am very proud of their accomplishments and consider it an honor to have served with them.”
The crew successfully completed several missions vital to national security and participated in several multinational exercises. These exercises supported ongoing security theater objectives and improved the overall warfighting readiness of U.S. and allied forces in the Western Pacific.
In addition to gaining the experience of operating in the Western Pacific, the deployment afforded Sailors the opportunity to work on qualifications. Thirteen enlisted Sailors and three officers of the 150-man crew became submarine qualified and are now able to wear their respective submarine warfare insignia also known as the coveted “dolphins.”
Press Release; Image: Wikimedia