USS Providence Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London

Los Angeles class-attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London following a seven-month regularly scheduled deployment, March 19.

Providence, under the command of Cmdr. Michael Quan, returned from the Central and European Command areas of responsibility where it executed the nation’s maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

“Providence’s deployment was extremely successful during which the ship conducted various missions vital to national security,” said Quan. “When there was a need for an SSN to support operations, Providence answered the call.”

Providence departed for deployment Aug. 10, 2012, and steamed more than 38,400 nautical miles during the deployment. Port visits were conducted in Haifa, Israel; Bahrain; Jebel Ali; and Rota, Spain.

During the deployment, added Quan, his Sailors achieved various other milestones.

“Twenty-six Providence Sailors were advanced to petty officer during the deployment, which is the highest advancement percentage from any Atlantic-based commissioned submarine at 54 percent.”

Quan also added that another 26 officers and crew members qualified in submarines during the deployment.

“In addition to the qualification in submarines, 24 crew members reenlisted for a combined 118 years,” said Quan, who credited his crew’s success to the ability to assimilate the multiple lessons learned from previous units who served in theater prior to their deployment.

USS Providence named for the capital of Rhode Island, is the fifth ship to bear the name. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras signed a letter of appreciation thanking the crew of USS Providence for their service and defense of the nation.

“I wish to extend a hearty welcome home to the officers and crew of the USS Providence,” Taveras wrote in a letter of appreciation, dated March 4. “On behalf of the residents of our city, I send best wishes and regards to all. You have our heartfelt gratitude for a job well done.”

Taveras also reflected on the pride the city has for its namesake submarine.

“We in Providence are proud of the service you provide to our country, and the great ship that bears our city’s name has a special place in our hearts,” wrote Taveras.

Norman Roy, member of the USVI Groton Base and Naval Submarine League Northwest Chapter worked with the mayor’s office to complete the letter prior to the return of USS Providence.

“When I joined SUBVETs in 2010, I noticed that a lot of cities and states were supporting their namesake boats, and I wanted to do my part in bridging the boat with its namesake submarine, USS Providence,” said Roy.

Family members of USS Providence Sailors also extended their thanks and warm wishes as the submarine arrived pier side. One of those family members, USS Providence Ombudsman Courtney Vaira-Joyce reflected on the collective pride felt by all as they welcomed home their Sailors from deployment.

“The pride that not only I feel for my husband, but the pride that everyone on that pier feels about their Sailor is a result of sacrifices, not just from the crew, but from the families, including parents, spouses, girlfriends, and children,” said Vaira-Joyce. “I thank Cmdr. Quan for giving me the opportunity to serve as the USS Providence Ombudsman; it has been a privilege and an honor.”

Quan thanked the families for their support of USS Providence while on deployment.

“The Providence families greatly contributed to our success as they continued to provide support to their Sailors as well as to each other during our deployment,” said Quan.

During the deployment several babies were born and met their fathers for the first time. Three fathers met their children for the first time, Lt. Shawn McBlain, Hospitalman 1st Class (SS) Michael Phillips and Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SS) Jarred Conway.

Naval Today Staff, March 20, 2013