Attack submarine USS Columbia returns from Western Pacific deployment

Sailors aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) prepare to moor at the historic submarine piers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a six-month Western Pacific deployment, June 6. Photo: US Navy

The crew of the US Navy’s Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) returned to their Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam homeport in Hawaii on June 6.

Columbia spent the past six months in the Western Pacific conducting operations and exercises in support of national security.

Cmdr. David L. Edgerton, commanding officer of Columbia, attributed their successful and rigorous deployment to his professional crew.

“Their resourceful tenacity allowed us to remain operational anytime we faced a challenge,” Edgerton said. “I admire their positive attitudes, resiliency, and tight-knit camaraderie, even while deployed from friends and family. It was a privilege to spend the past six months with them.”

Throughout the deployment, 10 Columbia sailors advanced to the next pay grade, and seven officers were promoted to the next higher rank. Twenty sailors also earned their submarine warfare qualification symbolically known within the submarine community as “earning your dolphins.”

Columbia continued its commitment to foster strong partnerships with foreign allies and served as US ambassadors and hosts during port visits to Japan.

“We operated throughout the Pacific conducting operations and exercises, and our port visits in Sasebo and Yokosuka fostered our already strong partnership with Japan,” Edgerton said. “This gave us the opportunity to showcase the capabilities of a US fast-attack submarine manned by our remarkable submariners.”

Columbia, commissioned in 1995, was the last 688-class submarine built at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

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