USA: Trident Ballistic Missile Submarine Sailors Visit Namesake State


Trident ballistic missile submarine USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) Sailors visited the boat’s namesake state to participate in Philadelphia Fleet Week May 22-26.

Five Pennsylvania Sailors, led by USS Pennsylvania Commanding Officer Cmdr. Gustavo Gutierrez, took part in various events in the region throughout the week.

“It is a great way for the Navy and the USS Pennsylvania to explain to the public what their Navy is doing for them everyday, and what their tax dollars are being spent on,” Gutierrez said.

To kick off the week, Gutierrez and Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (SS) Donald Everett discussed on a local radio station, the purpose of Navy Week and the Navy’s role throughout the world.

Gutierrez and Master Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS) John Moore, USS Pennsylvania chief of the boat, attended the Mayoral Proclamation of Navy Week aboard guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59). The two presented Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter with a plaque from Pennsylvania to the city of Philadelphia.

Fleet Week also featured several visits to local hospitals and schools. During one such visit, Pennsylvania Sailors joined Rear Adm. Scott A. Weikert, deputy commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), while visiting numerous patients and nursing home residents during a tour of the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center.

“It is a tremendous honor to meet with the brave men and women that have gone before us and to be able to express to them how much we appreciate all of their hard work and sacrifices,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Eric Pope.

Pennsylvania Sailors were also guest speakers at the Delaware Military Academy, the first publicly chartered high school consisting entirely of NJROTC students. The crew had the opportunity to speak to approximately 200 students in eight different classes, answering questions about the Navy and life aboard submarines.

Crew members were also guest judges during the National Sea Perch Challenge held at Drexel University, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. The competition offered middle and high school students the opportunity to compete at the national level in the arena of underwater robotics by designing a submersible robot and navigating various underwater obstacles with their robot.

USS Pennsylvania, currently undergoing an engineered refueling overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines homeported aboard Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Source: navy, June 8, 2011;