First Sea Lord, Chief of Naval Staff of British Royal Navy Visits USS Missouri


The first sea lord and chief of naval staff of the British Royal Navy visited the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780), the seventh ship of the class, during his tour of General Dynamics Electric Boat, Oct. 17.

Adm. Mark Stanhope serves as the Royal Navy’s professional head and chairman of the navy board.

Capt. Mike Bernacchi, commander, Submarine Squadron 4 assisted in the tour aboard the Virginia-class submarine and reflected on his consistent and positive interactions with the UK navy throughout his naval career.

“Throughout my naval career I have had great interactions with the Royal Navy and through engagements, such as today’s visit aboard USS Missouri by the first sea lord, we continually share information which contributes to our alliance and makes us both stronger,” said Bernacchi.

Bernacchi said during the visit aboard Missouri discussions centered on construction, modernization, and training of both navies’ submarine forces.

“The visit with the Royal Navy’s first sea lord was very engaging,” said Bernacchi. “We discussed the advantage of the new training technologies and how that has led to advances in onboard warfighting preparation which our captains are using to very effectively prepare our Virginia-class boats for at sea operations.”

The visit to Missouri by Stanhope related to previous assignments during his 41 years of service to the UK navy. Previously, he has commanded the conventional submarine HMS Orpheus and the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Splendid. He later served in other submarine roles to include teaching prospective submarine commanding officers the “Perisher” course and commanded the Submarine Sea Training Organisation.

Missouri is undergoing its post-shakedown availability at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. During the availability, Missouri is receiving several system upgrades in addition to normal maintenance.

Missouri is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Adept at operating in both the world’s shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Missouri will directly enable five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

The Virginia-class attack submarine is the fifth U.S. Navy ship named after the “Show Me State.” The last USS Missouri (BB 63) was the battleship that hosted the Japanese surrender ceremony that ended World War II.
Source: navy, October 21, 2011