Norfolk Naval Shipyard Formally Relieves Ex-USS Philadelphia’s Last Crewman


Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) formally relieved ex-USS Philadelphia’s (SSN 690) last remaining crewman June 29, officially decommissioning the Los Angeles-class submarine.

Although a ceremonial decommissioning for Philadelphia occurred in August 2010, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., some crewmembers remained aboard until certain work was accomplished. With the June 29 release of the last remaining crewman, Philadelphia is now officially decommissioned.

We had 65 sailors who were committed to leave by the end of June to fill the operational needs throughout the Navy,” said Jimmy Masters, submarine project superintendant. “Getting these sailors into their next commands on time keeps the Navy’s deployments and missions on schedule.”

The shipyard is currently preparing the ship for transit, safe storage, and eventual recycling.

Some key items that will be completed during the inactivation are defueling of the ship; draining, cleaning and preserving all systems; emptying all tanks; and making preparations and adding equipment for towing.

NNSY will perform several tests to ensure the ship will be ready for undocking in August. The equipment used to tow the ship will also be tested; when this equipment meets certification standards the availability will be complete. However, the ship will be re-inspected in the late spring prior to being towed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in June for eventual recycling.

Throughout its 33-year lifecycle, Philadelphia supported numerous operations including Operation Desert Storm in 1991. It was the first submarine to receive the Tomahawk Land-attack Missile capability; the first Los Angeles Class submarine to be refueled at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard , Kittery, Maine; and the first Los Angeles Class submarine to complete more than 1,000 dives.

The contract to build Philadelphia was awarded to General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton Jan. 8, 1971. Philadelphia’s keel was laid Aug. 12, 1972, and was launched Oct. 19, 1974 and was commissioned and officially put into service June 25, 1977.

NNSY, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is the oldest and largest industrial facility belonging to the U.S. Navy, and specializes in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines.
Source: navsea, July 11, 2011;