PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a six-month deployment, Feb. 9, 2021.
Chicago departed Pearl Harbor, July 15, 2020, for a regularly-scheduled deployment, in which they performed a full spectrum of operations, to include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The team executed their mission superbly, remaining undetected and ready to execute the full spectrum of the submarine mission set anytime, anywhere,” said Cmdr. Chance Litton, commanding officer, USS Chicago. “I could not be prouder of this magnificent crew and greatly appreciate the family and loved ones back home who supported us through it all.”
Chicago participated in Valiant Shield 2020, a biennial field training exercise in which they conducted training to enable real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace. During the exercise, they fired a Mark 48 advanced capability torpedo and sunk the decommissioned frigate USS Curtis.
“We welcome Chicago back from another successful deployment,” said Capt. Mike Majewski, commodore, Submarine Squadron 7. “She participated in multiple joint exercises while leading the way at the tip of the spear and supporting national maritime interests in 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations. We are proud to have her as an integral part of Submarine Squadron 7.”
They also conducted Sea Dragon 2021, a joint anti-submarine warfare exercise, with Royal Australian Air Forces, Royal Canadian Air Defense, Indian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces. Sea Dragon 2021 focused on anti-submarine warfare training and excellence. It included 250 hours of ground and classroom training and 125 hours of in-flight training, ranging from tracking simulated targets to finding and tracking Chicago.
“The crew performed as expected and trained,” said Master Chief Tim Kearns, chief of the boat, USS Chicago. “They conducted several different mission types in challenging environments and earned praise from the operational commander. Senior members of the crew provided guidance and mentorship rooted in their past experiences on forward-deployed submarines, enabling the success of Chicago.”
During the deployment, Chicago advanced 12 enlisted Sailors to the next paygrade and had 21 enlisted Sailors and three officers earn their Submarine Warfare Specialist designations. Chicago also won the 2020 Weapons Readiness Excellence (White “W”) and Supply Readiness Excellence (Blue ”E”) award for Commander, Submarine Squadron 7.
“Prior to the deployment, the leadership team established a culture of battle-mindedness in everything that we do,” said Litton. “This crew took that onboard, aggressively driving resolution to material and training issues as they arose, and demonstrating the fantastic capabilities of the U.S. submarine force at every opportunity they got.”
Chicago was commissioned September 27, 1986, and is the Navy’s 34th Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine. Measuring 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Chicago has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors. Chicago is capable of supporting various missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, surveillance, and reconnaissance.