Widgets Magazine
MIGHTY CULTURE
Ryan Pickrell

US Navy's oldest nuclear-powered attack sub completes final deployment

(U.S. Navy photo by Fire Control Technician Senior Chief Vien Nguyen)

The US Navy's oldest nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine wrapped up its final deployment Sept. 8, 2019, after sailing around the world.

Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia completed a seven-month, around-the-world deployment when it returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Navy said on Sept. 9, 2019.


The USS Olympia was commissioned in 1984. On Sunday, it returned home to Hawaii for the last time after circumnavigating the globe, a fitting send-off. It will soon sail to Bremerton, Washington, to be decommissioned.

The USS Olympia returns home following a seven-month deployment.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda Gray)

The powerful sub "completed her final deployment after 35 years of service, circumnavigating the globe in seven months starting from Oahu, Hawaii, transiting through the Panama Canal, Strait of Gibraltar and Suez Canal," Cmdr. Benjamin Selph, the sub's commanding officer, said.

The crew of the USS Olympia returns home from a seven-month deployment.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael B. Zingaro)

Selph said the sub and its crew worked visited various allies and partners during the deployment, at times engaging other navies, such as the British Royal Navy. "We joined the crew of HMS Talent in a day of barbeque and friendly sports competitions of soccer, football and volleyball," he explained.

Selph said that "sailing around the world in our country’s oldest serving nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine is a testament to the durability and design of the submarine but also the tenacity and 'fight on' spirit of the crew."

The crew of the USS Olympia moors in Hawaii following a seven-month deployment.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael B. Zingaro)

Master Chief Electronics Technician (Radio) Arturo Placencia, Olympia's chief-of-the-boat, said the boat and its crew "performed with excellence," adding that "for everyone onboard, this was the first time we completed a circumnavigation of the globe."

The War Zone, a defense publication, tracked the Olympia's travels from Hawaii to the Western Pacific and through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Suez Canal. The sub then conducted operations in the Mediterranean before heading to the Atlantic, passing through the Panama Canal, and sailing through the Eastern Pacific to Pearl Harbor.

Sailors assigned to the USS Olympia load a Mark 48 torpedo from the pier in Souda Bay, Greece, July 10, 2019.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelly M. Agee)

Source: The War Zone

"Olympia conducted an around-the-world deployment in support of maritime security operations with allies and partners to ensure high-end war fighting capabilities in this era of great power competition," Navy said, without going into too many details about exactly what the sub did during its deployment.

USS Olympia returns home following a seven-month deployment.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda Gray)

Even in the final years of its more than three decades of service, the Olympia remained a symbol of US undersea power. For example, last summer, it became the first US sub in 20 years to fire a Harpoon sub-launched anti-ship cruise missile. The US military is building this capability as it confronts great power rivals with capable surface fleets.

Sailors load a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile aboard the USS Olympia as part of the biannual RIMPAC maritime exercise.

(U.S. Navy photo)

Source: Submarine Force Pacific

When the Olympia returned home, friends and family greeted the crew at the pier.

Electronics Technician (Nuclear) 1st Class Todd Bolen hugs his girlfriend at Olympia's homecoming.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael B. Zingaro)

In Navy tradition, a lucky cribbage board belonging to Cmdr. Richard O'Kane, who was dealt an incredible winning hand before his Gato-class sub, USS Wahoo, sank two Japanese freighters in 1943, was passed from the USS Bremerton to the Olympia when the latter became the oldest fast-attack sub. Before it is decommissioned, the Olympia will pass the board to another sub, reportedly the USS Chicago.

Cmdr. Travis Zettel, commander of the USS Bremerton, left, hands the Rear Adm. Richard O'Kane cribbage board to Cmdr. Benjamin J. Selph, commander of the USS Olympia, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Lee)

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.