PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Friends and families of the crew from USS Olympia (SSN 717) gathered at the submarine piers to welcome back the Los Angeles-class submarine as she returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after completing a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific region, March 4.
"Olympia accomplished national tasking, theatre tasking, and security cooperation events throughout the 7th Fleet area, and enhanced continued relations with our allies overseas," said Cmdr. Michael J. Boone, Olympia's commanding officer. Boone said the submarine crew worked around the clock applying months of preparations and workups into mission accomplishment. The range of the missions offered a broad aspect for training and development, creating experienced Sailors across all mission areas.
"The hard work and determination from the crew of Olympia these past seven months developed a camaraderie that is second to none. We are returning to Pearl Harbor as a more experienced and capable unit," said Boone. During the deployment, two officers and 21 enlisted Sailors earned their designation as qualified in submarines and now wear their dolphin warfare insignia.
Boone added the crew was able to get time off to experience the diverse cultures in Yokosuka, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippines; Guam, and Singapore. While in a few of these foreign ports, foreign dignitaries and ambassadors toured the submarine. When the deployment was finally complete, the crew came home to a waiting crowd of smiling family and friends at the pier.
"I am estatic, it's been such a long time! The best thing is just to hold my husband and have him home." said Beecee Hall, an Olympia spouse. USS Olympia is the second ship named after Olympia, Wash. Commissioned Nov. 17, 1984, Olympia is the 29th ship of the Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarines. The submarine is 362-feet long, displaces 6,900 tons and can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.