US Navy’s Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) returned to her Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam homeport on February 14, completing a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
During the deployment, 31 officers and sailors earned their submarine warfare qualification “dolphins” and 27 sailors advanced in rank, including six to the rank of chief petty officer.
“Earning ‘dolphins’ symbolizes the completion of ship’s qualifications and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of not only the individual but also those other members of the crew who trained them,” said Cmdr. Mike Dolbec, commanding officer of Texas and native of Manchester, New Hampshire. “I can say with a great deal of pride that these are the finest men and women that I have ever served with, and it is a great honor to be their commanding officer.
While deployed, Texas executed port calls to Guam, Sasebo, Japan and Yokosuka, Japan.
“The crew enjoyed all of the port calls but there is always a little more buzz around the boat when we get to Yokosuka,” said Machinist’s Mate Auxiliary Master Chief Daniel Kloepfer, from Portland, Oregon, and Texas’ Chief of the Boat. “There is so much to do with Tokyo so close and many families flew out to meet the boat in Yokosuka.”
Commissioned Sept. 9, 2006, Texas is the second Virginia-class submarine constructed and the first submarine to be named after the Lone Star State. The state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare.