USS New Mexico Visits Naval Academy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The crew of Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) visited the U.S. Naval Academy, Aug. 31 - Sept. 3, to provide awareness of the undersea platform to future naval leaders.

"It's exciting to show some of the future leaders of our Navy and Marine Corps one of the most sophisticated and advanced warships in the world, which some of them may end serving on," said Lt. Joel Holwitt, navigator, USS New Mexico.

Despite returning to his alma mater, Holwitt missed the opportunity to see the season opener of Academy football, when the Blue and Gold squared off against Notre Dame Sept. 1 in Dublin at the Emerald Isle Classic.

Holwitt is one of two U.S. Naval Academy graduates currently serving aboard the attack submarine. Graduating in 2003, Holwitt reflected on sharing the proud history and heritage of the Academy with the crew.

"The Naval Academy remains one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I am thrilled to be able to share some of that positive experience with my shipmates on board USS New Mexico," said Holwitt.

The last Groton-assigned boat to visit the U.S. Naval Academy was the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757). The attack submarine visited the capital city in Maryland Oct. 21-22 for the USNA's homecoming game.

New Mexico was commissioned March 27, 2010 and was the sixth Virginia-class submarine to be commissioned. There are currently 127 officers and enlisted Sailors assigned to New Mexico.

The ship is named in recognition of the people of the "Land of Enchantment." The battleship New Mexico (BB 40), in commission from 1918 to 1946 and the only other ship named after the 47th state, earned six battle stars for World War II service, which included providing shore bombardment support for landings in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, the Philippines, and Okinawa. BB 40 acted as the flagship for the Pacific Fleet during the 1920s. She was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.

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