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NEWS | June 16, 2023

USS Columbia Returns Home from Deployment

By Courtesy Story Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a seven-month deployment, June 12.

Columbia departed Pearl Harbor in November 2022 for the regularly-scheduled deployment, during which the submarine and its crew performed a full spectrum of operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The Columbia crew demonstrated the extreme resiliency and endurance required to fight and win at sea,” said Columbia’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Corey Barksdale, from Matoaca, Va. “Operating a deployed submarine is incredibly challenging, but we were able to accomplish this mission knowing our families were strong back home. I could not be more proud of my Sailors, their families, and our Columbia supporters.”

Columbia’s crew trained to be combat ready prior to departure and maintained those high standards throughout the deployment. During the seven months deployed, Columbia traveled approximately 20,000 leagues, or 60,000 nautical miles, under the sea.

“The grit and positive attitude displayed by the entire Columbia crew has been extraordinary,” said Columbia’s chief of the boat, Master Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarines) Brian Priess, from Minot, N.D. “I couldn’t be more proud of the work our Sailors have put in while deployed. Each day, Columbia Sailors demonstrated our ability to maintain a sustained, lethal presence at sea. Special thanks are owed to all the families for keeping the home front secure. Our nation is stronger and our loved ones are safer because of your sacrifice.”

During the deployment, more than 25 Columbia Sailors became fully qualified in submarines and earned their submarine warfare specialist designation, and walked ashore wearing their “dolphin” insignia.

“The most memorable part of deployment was the moment I qualified in submarines,” said Culinary Specialist (Submarines) Seaman Apprentice Skylar Magallenes, from Las Vegas. “Earning my silver dolphins was hard, but I had a lot of help along the way. I’m extremely proud to be a part of the Columbia crew.”

Columbia was commissioned Sept. 24, 1994, is the 60th Los-Angeles class submarine, and is named for the cities of Columbia in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina. It is 360 feet long with a beam of 33 feet.

The Los Angeles-class submarine is capable of supporting various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

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