US Navy’s USS Pittsburgh submarine undergoes decommissioning

3 June 2019 (Last Updated June 3rd, 2019 16:42)

The US Navy’s Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) is set to undergo the inactivation and decommissioning processes at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton. 

US Navy’s USS Pittsburgh submarine undergoes decommissioning
The US Navy’s Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720). Credit: US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 1st class Amanda R Gray/Released.

The US Navy’s Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) is set to undergo the inactivation and decommissioning processes at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton.

The submarine left Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, and arrived at Kitsap-Bremerton.

USS Pittsburgh made its first Arctic transit from Groton to Bremerton for its final underway and homeport change.

USS Pittsburgh commander Jason Deichler said: “We are the first second flight 688 to complete an Arctic transit from Groton to Bremerton for an inactivation.

“It was an amazing transit, one that is unique to submarines. There aren’t too many people in the history of the world, let alone the submarine force, let alone the navy, that have done that transit under the ice.”

The vessel was last deployed in this February during when it steamed more than 39,000nm and visited three foreign ports.

Deichler added: “All I heard from the crew during the transit was ‘this is the last’. This is the last meal; this is the last time we are going to eat Pittsburgh steak on Pittsburgh; this is the last turn; this is the last shut down.

“We have been involved in two tomahawk strike exercises and a multitude of missions vital to national security.”

Commissioned in 1985, Pittsburgh has performed a range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance.

“All I heard from the crew during the transit was ‘this is the last’.”

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility will take care of de-fuelling the submarine during the inactivation process. Meanwhile, the hull will be kept in safe storage until decommissioning.

It is the fourth US Navy vessel to be named after the city of Pittsburgh.

The mission of the 360ft-long, 6,900t vessel is to ‘seek out and destroy enemy ships and submarines’.

The submarine is equipped with sophisticated MK48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.