USS Providence Receives Recognition for Execution of Operation Odyssey Dawn


The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) was presented the prestigious Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, June 7.

The award recognized Providence’s participation in flawlessly executing Operation Odyssey Dawn (OOD) in 2011. OOD was a U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. Sixth Fleet-led operation that enforced United Nations Security Council Resolutions against the government of Libya and helped establish a transitional government in Libya.

Providence was one of three submarines receiving the NUC, along with the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756) homeported in Norfolk, Va., and the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) homeported in Kings Bay, Ga.

Capt. Vernon Parks, Commander, Submarine Development Squadron Twelve presented the award to the crew of Providence.

 “Job well done on supporting the president of the United States in the decision making necessary to execute that operation,” said Parks to the crew. “We bring, as a submarine force, significant capability to the president. Adm. Donald [former Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion] in October 2012 said ‘we have a clear mission of significant importance to the defense of the United States of America – Dominate the Undersea Domain’. That’s what you did, and continue to do with the rest of the force on a daily basis.”

Parks further congratulated the crew on their contributions to Operation Odyssey Dawn and added their actions resulted in a banner day for the submarine force and for the Providence.

The Navy Unit Commendation was established Dec. 18, 1944 to award any ship, aircraft, detachment or other unit of the United States Navy or Marine Corps which distinguished itself in action against the enemy with outstanding heroism as seen fit by the Secretary of the Navy. The unit must have performed service of a character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Silver Star Medal to an individual.

In early 2011, Providence was preparing to return to its homeport in Groton after a successful six-month deployment in the Sixth Fleet Area of Operation. The submarine was then called upon to assist with the initial strike in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn. During the operation, Providence successfully launched twelve Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.

 “We can’t always predict how world events will unfold, or when the nation will call on you to defend her interests,” said Rear Adm. Ken Perry, Commander, Submarine Group 2 while addressing the crew of Providence. “But we can predict that the nation will continue to rely on the submarine force to be vigilant and ready. You were ready when called, and you did a superb job. Well done.”

Providence is the first Los Angeles-class Flight II boat and the first U.S. attack submarine to be fitted with a tactical missile vertical launch system, which houses 12 Tomahawks in the bow of the boat. These missiles can be launched covertly while the submarine remains submerged.

Press release, June 10, 2013; Image: US Navy