PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) was welcomed home by friends and family awaiting their return at the historic submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Feb. 14.
Texas successfully completed a six-month Western Pacific deployment while conducting operations in support of national security.
During the deployment, 31 officers and Sailors earned their submarine warfare qualification “dolphins” and 27 Sailors advanced in rank, including six to the rank of chief petty officer.
“Earning ‘dolphins’ symbolizes the completion of ship’s qualifications and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of not only the individual but also those other members of the crew who trained them,” said Cmdr. Mike Dolbec, commanding officer of Texas and native of Manchester, New Hampshire. “I can say with a great deal of pride that these are the finest men and women that I have ever served with, and it is a great honor to be their commanding officer.
While deployed, Texas executed port calls to Guam, Sasebo, Japan, and Yokosuka, Japan.
“The crew enjoyed all of the port calls but there is always a little more buzz around the boat when we get to Yokosuka,” said Machinist’s Mate Auxiliary Master Chief Daniel Kloepfer, from Portland, Oregon, and Texas’ Chief of the Boat. “There is so much to do with Tokyo so close and many families flew out to meet the boat in Yokosuka.”
Upon returning to Pearl Harbor, Dolbec, praised the crew for their hard work and preparation for the six-month deployment.
“The crew worked and trained tirelessly, preparing to execute any mission in defense of our nation,” said Dolbec. “In my opinion, every Texas Sailor is a hero, whose patriotism is evident daily.”
Commissioned Sept. 9, 2006, Texas is the second Virginia-class submarine constructed and the first submarine to be named after the Lone Star State. The state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare.