Homeward bound


POSTED: Friday, June 05, 2009

The Navy's newest addition to the Pacific Fleet—the attack submarine USS Hawaii—will be here next month, says Kippen de Alba Chu, chairman of the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.




USS Hawaii (SSN 776)


        » Length: 377 feet

» Beam: 34 feet


» Displacement: 7,800 tons


» Speed: Greater than 25 knots (29 mph)


» Depth: Greater than 800 feet


» Commissioned: May 5, 2007


» Complement: 134 officers and enlisted crew


» Commanding officer: Cmdr. Edward L. Herrington


» Executive officer: Lt. Cmdr. Glen Sidaras


» Chief of the boat: Command Master Chief Petty Officer Robert Crossno


Source: U.S. Navy


As a policy the Navy does not publicize the arrivals and departures of its warships. But the 7,800-ton submarine will be part of the 50th anniversary of Hawaii statehood slated for Aug. 21, state officials said.

Alba Chu said events involving the USS Hawaii are being planned by the Navy and probably will be held sometime next month when the submarine arrives at Pearl Harbor.

The $2.5 billion submarine, the third Virginia-class attack submarine constructed and the first to be named after the Aloha State, left May 13 from Groton, Conn., where it was built.

A few weeks later the sub was performing sea trials off Florida. On May 28 its skipper, Cmdr. Ed Herrington, wrote in a blog started by the crew to chronicle the sub's voyage to Hawaii, “;Over the next few weeks we will be working hard on our tactics and techniques for several different mission areas including anti-submarine warfare, missile strike and minefield penetration.”;

The 370-foot nuclear-powered submarine is capable of multiple missions, including special warfare operations. Two other Virginia-class boats, the USS Texas and USS North Carolina, now berthed at Groton, have been assigned to Pearl Harbor. The Texas is slated to arrive here in the fall. There has been no official announcement involving the North Carolina.

The USS Hawaii (SSN 776) was commissioned on May 5, 2007, and is the first Virginia-class submarine to be home-ported in Pearl Harbor.

Its 132-member crew can launch Tomahawk missiles from 12 vertical launch system tubes and Mark 48 advanced-capability torpedoes from four 21-inch torpedo tubes.

Master Chief Petty Officer Robert R. Crossno Jr., the highest-ranking enlisted sailor as chief of the boat, wrote in a blog entry May 22, “;Excitement stirs among the crew as Hawaii makes her journey to her new home port. Several crew members previously stationed in Pearl Harbor are stimulating the crew about the wonderful life in Hawaii. The stories of the panoramic views from wherever you are on the island are beyond belief.”;

By the end of this year, there will be 18 attack submarines at Pearl Harbor, two more than currently assigned. Sixty percent of the Navy's attack submarines eventually will be berthed in Hawaii, Guam and the West Coast.