Submarine USS Buffalo Arrives in Washington for Decommissioning

The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) arrives at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to commence its inactivation process after 33 years of service, May 26, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray)
The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) arrives at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to commence its inactivation process after 33 years of service, May 26, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray)

BREMERTON -- The second submarine in a week arrived at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Friday for inactivation and decommissioning.

The USS Buffalo checked in Friday afternoon, following the USS Dallas on Monday. They are Los Angeles-class fast attack submarines, which are being retired as new Virginia-class boats enter service.

Thirty-six Los Angeles-class subs are still in commission and 26 have been retired. The shipyard has recycled 11, said spokesman J.C. Mathews. Several others are in the process or awaiting their turn.

The Buffalo was commissioned on Nov. 5, 1983, and was in service for more than 33 years. In 2002, it became the first ship to undergo nuclear refueling in Hawaii. In 2005 its dry deck shelter was used to launch an underwater glider for gathering and storing information.

The sub was based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It returned there on Dec. 23 after its last deployment before making its way to Bremerton.

The Navy accepted delivery Friday of the USS Washington, the 14th Virginia-class submarine. Construction began in September 2011. It will be commissioned later this year in Norfolk, Virginia. The submarine's sponsor is Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Washington will be the third U.S. Navy ship, and first submarine, to be commissioned with a name honoring the state of Washington. The previous two ships were an armored cruiser, which served under the name from 1905 to 1916, and a World War II battleship, decommissioned in 1947.

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