Attack submarine USS Louisville arrives in Washington for inactivation

The US Navy’s Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) has arrived at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to start her inactivation and decommissioning process.

USS Louisville (SSN 724) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, May 2, 2019. Photo: US Navy

The submarine departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on October 7 and arrived in Washington on October 22.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as a commanding officer on this fine ship,” said Cmdr. Robert Rose.

“The crew’s ingenuity, hard work, and effort has been incredible through a Western Pacific deployment then shifting our focus to moving our families and submarine to Bremerton for decommissioning.”

During the inactivation process, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility will defuel the submarine, with the hull retained in safe storage until decommissioning.

Commissioned Nov. 8, 1986, Louisville is the fourth United States ship to bear the name in honor of the city of Louisville, Kentucky. She is the 35th nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine of the Los Angeles-class design. She returned from her final deployment May 2, where she conducted operations vital to national security in the 5th and 7th fleet’s areas of operation.

Los Angeles-class submarines make up the majority of the navy’s fast-attack submarine force that is made up of three classes. As the Los Angeles-class reaches the end of their operational life, the navy is slowly decommissioning the submarines to make room for the next generation of submarines, the Virginia-class.

Currently, there are 16 active Virginia-class submarines, armed with several innovations that have significantly enhanced its warfighting capabilities. The third class of fast-attack submarines is the Seawolf-class. These faster and quieter submarines were developed towards the end of the Cold War with three currently in service.