USS New Hampshire Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London

USS New Hampshire Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London

The families of Sailors assigned to Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) welcomed their loved ones as they returned to Naval Submarine Base New London, Sept. 13, following a six-month deployment.

USS New Hampshire departed for deployment March 13 and conducted maritime security and theater security cooperation efforts in the 6th Fleet area of operations.

Cmdr. John McGunnigle reflected on the crew’s ability to complete missions that were vital to national security.

“The crew surpassed all of my expectations and successfully completed three missions that were vital to our nation’s security,” said McGunnigle. “The crew worked countless hours to ensure that all mission tasking was thoroughly completed in a professional, safe and efficient manner.”

During their six-month deployment, while the USS New Hampshire steamed 36,000 nautical miles, the Sailors received many qualifications and promotions.

“We had 27 promotions, 21 submarine qualifications and seven reenlistments,” said McGunnigle, who also added that his crew completed 124 watch station qualifications vital to mission tasking.

“The officers and crew conducted months of specialized training prior to deployment. The training prepared USS New Hampshire to operate in some of the world’s most complex operating environments,” said McGunnigle. “This training, combined with the training conducted during at sea operations, directly contributed to the success achieved on our missions.”

Trish Harris, USS New Hampshire Ombudsman reflected on her role while the crew was on deployment.

“I am proud to be the Ombudsman of such an amazing boat and prouder still to know so many dedicated Sailors and the families who support them,” said Harris. “All I want to say is welcome home USS New Hampshire, you were missed.”

While on deployment, USS New Hampshire connected with fourth and fifth graders from Heritage Elementary in Saline, Mich. Students from the Michigan elementary-school sent nearly 200 letters to the crew of the attack submarine, which were read throughout the deployment. The letter-exchange was launched prior to their deployment between Ensign Patrick Coughlin, suppy officer on board USS New Hampshire, and his mother Lynne, who teaches at Heritage Elementary.

Some of the family members who had the opportunity to greet their loved ones first when the submarine pulled into port included the winners of the first hug and first kiss. USS New Hampshire Chief of the Boat (SS) John Dancik hugged his wife Laurie and their two children first. They were followed by Electrician’s Mate Second Class (SS) Jonathan Worley who received the first kiss by his girlfriend Tanya Fradette.

During the deployment a total of seven children were born, of which two met their fathers for the first time.

Machinist’s Mate First Class (SS) Seth Wolf greeted his five-month old daughter for the first time while Electrician’s Mate First Class (SS) Michael Ball also greeted his four-month old daughter.

Wolf’s wife Linette and Ball’s wife Christina were two of 40 expectant and new military moms who received “showers in the box” by Operation Shower on June 19 when USS New Hampshire was on deployment.

USS New Hampshire was delivered to the Navy Aug. 28, 2008, and then was commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, Oct. 25, 2008.

Naval Today Staff, September 17, 2012; Image: Navy