KITTERY, Maine -- The 15 officers and 117 enlisted personnel of the USS Virginia submarine arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Wednesday for scheduled maintenance slated to last through 2020.
This is the second time Virginia (SSN 774) has graced the dry docks of the shipyard, its first time being in 2012, when it underwent a 20-month long overhaul.
"We're excited to have Virginia back at Portsmouth to conduct her second major maintenance availability," said shipyard Cmdr. Capt. David Hunt. "I have set the expectation with our dedicated workforce to deliver Virginia back to the fleet with Portsmouth-quality."
Mid-afternoon Wednesday, Virginia's stealth was on display as it was escorted up the Piscataqua River by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard tugboats.
Commissioned Oct. 23, 2004, Virginia is the first of its class of nuclear-powered attack submarines. Attack submarines like Virginia are multi-mission platforms, able to execute a number of missions in both deep water and in the littorals near shore. The submarine is designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and to project power ashore with special operation forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Virginia was the first U.S. Navy submarine to be completely designed on a computer. It was launched in August 2003 sponsored by Lynda Johnson Robb, wife of former Virginia governor and senator Charles Robb, and daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson. The SSN 774 is the 10th Navy vessel to be named for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia returned from its latest deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility Feb. 22, where it executed the chief of naval operations' maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.
During the deployment, Virginia steamed approximately 27,500 nautical miles, or 31,650 statute miles, and served as ambassadors for the United States, the Navy and the submarine force during port visits to Faslane, Scotland; Rota, Spain, and Haakonsvern, Norway.
Virginia is 377 feet long with a beam of 34 feet.
While at the shipyard, Virginia will undergo both scheduled maintenance work and system upgrades. The submarine's commanding officer is Cmdr. Jeffrey Anderson, and the town of Hampton will serve as Virginia's host community during its stay on the Seacoast, which is expected to last until late fall 2020.
This article is written by Hadley Barndollar from Portsmouth Herald, N.H. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.