USS Minneapolis–Saint Paul (SSN-708)
USS Minneapolis–Saint Paul (SSN-708)
|Ordered:||31 October 1973|
|Laid down:||20 January 1981|
|Launched:||19 March 1983|
|Commissioned:||10 March 1984|
|Decommissioned:||28 August 2008|
|Out of service:||22 June 2007|
|Homeport:||Pearl Harbor, HI|
|Class & type:||Los Angeles-class submarine|
|Displacement:||5695 tons light, 6068 tons full, 373 tons dead|
|Length:||110.3 meters (362 ft)|
|Beam:||10 meters (33 ft)|
|Draft:||9.7 meters (32 ft)|
|Propulsion:||one S6G reactor|
|Range:||Unlimited distance; 20-25 years|
|Complement:||12 officers, 98 men|
USS Minneapolis–Saint Paul (SSN-708), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the first vessel of the United States Navy to be named for the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, although each city had been honored twice before. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 31 October 1973 and her keel was laid down on 20 January 1981. She was launched on 19 March 1983 sponsored by Mrs. Penny Durenberger (wife of Senator David Durenberger), and commissioned on 10 March 1984, with Commander Ralph Schlichter in command.
While Minneapolis-St. Paul was the first vessel named for the Twin Cities as a whole, she is the third ship to be named for Minneapolis as well as the third to be named for St. Paul. The previous St. Paul, CA-73, was the last big-gun heavy cruiser in the United States Navy, and held the distinction of having fired the final shot of World War II.
Minneapolis–Saint Paul took part in Operation Desert Shield and the Gulf War and was the first submarine to carry Tomahawk missiles specifically designated for use in strikes against Iraq during the Gulf War.
Four crew members were washed overboard by heavy waves on 29 December 2006 in Plymouth Sound, England as the ship was exiting HMNB Devonport on the surface following a port call. This resulted in the deaths of Senior Chief Petty Officer Thomas Higgins (Chief of the Boat) and Sonar Technician (Submarines) 2nd Class Michael Holtz. After the preliminary investigation, Commander Edwin Ruff, the Commanding Officer, received a punitive letter of reprimand and was relieved of command.
Minneapolis-St. Paul conducted inter-fleet transfer from Norfolk VA to Pearl Harbor HI in July 2007 for decommissioning. Custody of Minneapolis-Saint Paul was transferred to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in August 2008. 
Wikimedia Commons Gallery
Rota, Spain (3 January 2007) – USS Minneapolis-St.Paul (SSN 708) Commanding Officer Cmdr. Edwin J. Ruff, speaks at a memorial service for Senior Chief Electronics Technician Thomas Higgins and Sonar Technician Submarine 2nd Class Michael Holtz held at Naval Station Rota. Both Sailors died after falling overboard, while the submarine was exiting Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth, England. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristine DeHoux (RELEASED)
Rota, Spain (3 January 2007) – Crew members of the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Minneapolis-St.Paul (SSN 708) and Sailors stationed at Naval Station Rota gather for a memorial service for Senior Chief Electronics Technician Thomas Higgins and Sonar Technician Submarine 2nd Class Michael Holtz. Both Sailors died after falling overboard, while the submarine was exiting Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth, England. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristine DeHoux (RELEASED)
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (15 October 2007) – USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) returns to Pearl Harbor for the final time. Minneapolis-St. Paul was inactivated from Naval service in a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., in June and was on her final underway prior to their decommissioning maintenance period at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cynthia Clark (RELEASED)
Naval Station Norfolk, Va. (5 November 2004) – The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Minneapolis St. Paul (SSN 708) prepares to moor at Naval Station Norfolk after a completion of six-month deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Andy Zask (RELEASED)
Norfolk, Va. (3 April 2007) – The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708), returns from her final six-month deployment before inactivation. The crew demonstrated the great flexibility of fast attack submarines conducting a wide range of joint requirements supporting national security as well as multiple operations contributing directly to mission objectives and the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kelvin Edwards (RELEASED)
Norfolk, Va. (22 June 2007) – Eleven of 12 former commanding officers of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) pose with the submarine’s current Commanding Officer Cmdr. Woods R. Brown II, right, following an inactivation ceremony held on board Naval Station Norfolk. Minneapolis-St. Paul has served the U.S. Navy for 24 years. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelvin Edwards (RELEASED)
Norfolk, Va. (3 December 2004) – Cmdr. Edwin J. Ruff, Jr. relieves Cmdr. David S. Ratte as commanding officer aboard the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) in a ceremony on board Naval Station Norfolk, Va. St. Paul recently returned from a deployment in support of the Global War On Terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Christina M. Shaw (RELEASED)
Rota, Spain (22 January 2007) – Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Justin Solarz, assigned to Naval Station Rota’s Harbor Security Division, observes the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) from his patrol boat as the submarine prepares to get underway. The USS Minneapolis-St. Paul left Rota following a port visit. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class James Hills (RELEASED)
St. Paul, Minn. (27 September 2005) – Machinist Mate 2nd Class Palmer, assigned to the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708) answers questions at St. Paul's Arlington High School. Four Sailors from Minneapolis-Saint Paul are in town as part of the Twin Cities' first ever "Navy Week". Twenty such weeks have been conducted this year in cities throughout the United States, arranged by the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO). NAVCO is a new unit tasked with enhancing the Navy's brand image in areas with limited exposure to the Navy. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Michael Sheehan (RELEASED)
- CNN article on preliminary investigation, 19 Jan 07[dead link]
- Wilcock, David (21 June 2011). "Nuclear submarine incident 'close to catastrophe'". The Independent. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Minneapolis-Saint Paul". Naval Vessel Register. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.