Los Angeles-Class Attack Submarine USS Springfield Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London

Los Angeles-Class Attack Submarine USS Springfield Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London

Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London Nov. 10 following a regularly scheduled six-month deployment.

Springfield, which departed for deployment, May 11, conducted operations in the Central Command area of responsibility, supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

“I am very proud of the performance of my crew on this deployment,” said Cmdr. Enrique Panlilio, commander, Springfield. “Springfield met every challenge successfully and demonstrated the traditional capability of our submarines to conduct long-range independent operations with minimal logistic support and provide situational awareness around the world for our operational commanders.”

We also demonstrated the integrated, international nature of our current maritime strategy by working with our strike groups and allied navies to foster cooperation and coordinated training and undertakings,” Panlilio said.

He also added that the professional development of his officers and crew was enhanced during the deployment.

My time in submarines is almost over. Now the next generations of undersea warriors have ‘walked the battlefield’ and are ready to lead their Sailors on future operations when the nation calls,” said Panlilio. “Today we are truly grateful to be reunited with our families, friends and homes back here in Connecticut and elsewhere.”

Cmdr. Dale Green, deputy, Submarine Squadron 2 echoed a job well done for Springfield and her crew.

Rick and his excellent Springfield team provided exactly what the Central Command commander needed from a front-line submarine. The ship has returned from distant seas after providing sustained superior performance in our global missions,” said Green. “This ship and her crew have everything to be proud of and it is extremely gratifying to have her back home with us today.”

Joleen Westrich, Springfield ombudsman for nearly three years discussed the critical support role both the ombudsman and the families perform while their spouses are deployed.

“Our families worked hard to remain strong while our Sailors are deployed. Each and every day we stood together waiting for this homecoming. It is wonderful seeing everyone reunited,” said Westrich.

As a tribute to Military Family Appreciation Month the president issued a proclamation Nov. 1 emphasizing the contributions families bestow to the nation.

A portion of the Proclamation reads, “They serve with heroism in their homes and neighborhoods while they are without the comfort of having loved ones nearby. Day after day, week after week, spouses resolutely accomplish the work of two parents; sons and daughters diligently keep up with homework and activities.”

Westrich added that during the six-month deployment four children were born. Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Paul Rich, assigned to Springfield held his 3-month old son for the first time upon returning from deployment.

Crystal Clark, Springfield Family Readiness Group, discussed the team effort required by all to prepare both the crew and the families for the homecoming.

“It’s very important that the families and the crew members have a great support system. We are lucky that the Navy and the Command Team of the Springfield have given the family readiness group the tools and the know how to help support our families during tough times,” said Clark. “Our success was also made possible by the wonderful wives and families on board who worked hard to support the boat’s mission and make this deployment a successful one. It is great to be able to share this experience with so many wonderful people.”

The submarine, built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, is the 47th Los Angeles class submarine delivered to the Navy. The submarine’s crew compliment includes 15 officers and 120 enlisted Sailors.

Source: navy, November 14, 2011