USS Tucson (SSN-770)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Tucson.
USS Tucson (SSN-770)
USS Tucson (SSN-770)
Career (US)
Name: USS Tucson
Namesake: Tucson, Arizona
Operator:  United States Navy
Ordered: 10 June 1988
Awarded: 16 September 1989
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
Laid down: 15 August 1991
Launched: 20 March 1994
Sponsored by: Mrs. Diane C. Kent
Commissioned: 18 August 1995
Homeport: Pearl Harbor
Status: in active service, as of 2014
Badge: 770insig.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Los Angeles-class submarine
Displacement: 6000 tons light, 6927 tons full, 927 tons dead
Length: 362 ft (110 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 1 × S6G reactor, single screw
Test depth: 470–500m
Complement: 12 officers, 98 men

USS Tucson (SSN-770), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Tucson, Arizona. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 10 June 1988 and her keel was laid down on 15 August 1991. She was launched on 20 March 1994 sponsored by Mrs. Diane C. Kent.

Tucson was supposed to be commissioned on 18 August 1995, however, Hurricane Felix threatened the Virginia coast, and the U.S. Navy decided to sortie the fleet, to prevent damage to ships in port if the hurricane made landfall. Tucson was the last ship to leave port, in case the prediction for landfall changed. As it turned out, the hurricane never did make landfall, but Tucson was at sea on 18 August. Upon returning to port, the commissioning ceremony was quickly rescheduled for 9 September 1995. At the new commissioning ceremony, the commanding officer, Commander Duane M. Baker, declared that for the next two hours, it was officially 18 August.

In June 1996, Tucson was struck by the Military Sealift Command vehicle cargo ship USNS Gilliland (T-AKR-298) while moored in port at Newport News. A sudden windstorm caused Gilliland to break free from her mooring and cross the harbor, colliding with Tucson and a destroyer moored behind her. While the destroyer suffered the most damage. Tucson suffered minor damage to her AN/BRA-34 antenna.

From September 1996 to October 1996, Tucson changed her home port. Tucson left Norfolk, Virginia, passed through the Panama Canal and stopped in San Diego, California for five days. VIPs from Tucson, Arizona, were allowed to ride on three separate short cruises, and then busloads of tourists from the city of Tucson came for tours of the submarine while in port. Following this port visit, Tucson continued on to arrive in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Tucson left for her first Western Pacific deployment (maiden deployment) in February 1998. For historical context, note that prior to departure, tensions between the United Nations and Iraq had escalated drastically. In the 30 days leading up to departure, the government of Iraq had blocked access to the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and had withdrawn cooperation with the UNSCOM monitoring teams.[1] The ship traveled as far west as the Persian Gulf before returning to Pearl Harbor in August 1998. It was during this period of time that the PBS series “Nova” filmed the episode “Battlegroups” aboard Tucson.

On 19 May 2004, Tucson departed for a Western Pacific deployment.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "December 1999". United Nations. December 1999. Retrieved 2008-03-22.