Los Angeles-class submarine USS Dallas inactivated after 36 years of service

Sailors assigned to Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700), fold the boat’s national ensign during an inactivation ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Photo: US Navy

US Navy’s Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700) was inactivated in a ceremony held at Naval Kitsap-Bangor on December 5. 

The ceremony marked the end of 36 years of service of the nuclear-powered boat.

It was also the crew’s final public event before the submarine is officially decommissioned in the controlled industrial area (CIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in Bremerton, Washington.

“Today we celebrate the numerous accomplishments of this fine ship and the crews who sailed her, the outstanding efforts of both the crew and the shipyard over the inactivation, as well as our close association with both the great city of Bremerton and the boat’s namesake, Dallas, Texas,” said Dallas’ executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Todd Bowers.

When a commissioned U.S. Navy ship is decommissioned, it is taken out of active service and the crew is reassigned to another ship or command. Inactivation is the process in which the submarine will be de-fueled, with the hull retained in safe storage until decommissioning.

“We anticipate that sometime in early April 2018, behind the layered security of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard’s Controlled Industrial Area and with little fanfare, a small fraction of the crew and a handful of shipyard personnel shall observe the final striking of the commissioning pennant and hauling down of the ensign following which Dallas will be officially decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry,” said Cmdr. David Kaiser, Dallas’ final commanding officer.

Capt. Robert Jezek, Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard representative was the guest speaker for the event.

“The decommissioning of Dallas marks the end for this amazing submarine that has served our country for more than 36 years,” said Jezek. “When commissioned on July 18, 1981, Dallas was hailed as the cutting edge of the nation’s defense system. For all these years Dallas carried out missions vital to national security, deployed 14 times, steamed over one million miles, visited over 30 countries, stared in one blockbuster movie, and has been considered home for hundreds of Sailors over the years, some of which are in the audience today.”

The ceremony concluded with the lowering of the national ensign and the hauling down of the commissioning pennant along with a symbolic securing of the watch.

Dallas completed their most recent deployment November 22, 2016. During their final extended 7-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Operation, the submarine traveled 37,000 nautical miles and made port calls to Brest, France, Al Hidd, Bahrain, and Duqm, Oman.

Dallas departed Groton, Connecticut for Bremerton, Washington on March 24, 2017. During their transit, Dallas transited the Panama Canal and conducted port calls in Port Canaveral, Florida and San Diego, California. They arrived at PSNS on May 22.

Dallas was featured prominently in the Tom Clancy novel, “The Hunt for Red October,” and its film adaptation. However, instead of filming on Dallas, they used the recently decommissioned Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Houston (SSN 713) as the primary boat.

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