U.S. Navy Commissions 22nd Virginia-Class Submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover

On October 14, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, the Navy commissioned the fast-attack submarine Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) belonging to the Virginia class in a customary ceremony.

During her talk, Darleen Greenert — the wife of Jonathan Greenert, the former Chief of Naval Operations and sponsor of SSN 709 — discussed sacrifices made by military families and honoured the late Eleonore Rickover, the wife of the namesake admiral.

After years of preparation, the USS Rickover, the second sub dubbed in honour of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, who is known as the father of the nuclear Navy, was finally put into service during the event. Commissioned in Groton on 21 July 1984, the first-ever Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) was deployed 12 times before decommissioning in December 2007.

Following Greenert’s customary command to man the vessel to bring her to life, the sailors from Rickover yelled “Aye aye ma’am” and ceremoniously climbed into the submarine.

During his remarks, Cmdr. Matthew Beach, the commanding officer of Rickover, referred to the occasion as a “momentous occasion.”

Along with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut, Kevin Graney, head of General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat shipyard, also spoke at the commissioning event. Lt. Cmdr. Collin Hedges, USS Rickover’s executive officer, served as the master of ceremonies.

In his remarks, Secretary of the United States Navy Carlos Del Toro commended the shipbuilders and the crew, referring to the commissioning as a “true milestone for our fleet.”

The commodore of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) FOUR, the parent unit of Rickover, Capt. Jason Grizzle credited the crew’s accomplishments to hard work and commitment that mirror the lessons of the boat’s namesake.

When performing a job — one must feel like he owns it and behave as if he will remain in that job forever, Grizzle quoted Adm. Rickover. He added that he believes each veteran of a sub can sense that the boat and the force are, and are always going to be, theirs. Matt and his crew members embody the inventiveness and attention to detail ingrained in every submariner since day one.

Seaman Mark Dean, who was on board briefly and was designated as Rickover’s youngest plank owner — an accolade bestowed upon commissioning crew members — described the commissioning event as an “unreal experience.”

Adm. Frank Caldwell, the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program director, emphasized Adm. Rickover’s “enduring impact” on the Submarine Force.

With a length of 377 feet and a beam of 34 feet, Rickover can dive to depths of over 800 feet and reach speeds of more than 25 knots. There are over 135 Navy troops on board Rickover.

Five of six Navy maritime strategy basic capabilities — power projection, deterrence, forward presence, maritime security, and sea control — are made possible by fast-attack submarines, which are multi-mission platforms. They are built to be highly effective in irregular warfare, mine warfare, special operations, anti-submarine, anti-ship, and strike action, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. To avert or prepare for regional crises, fast-attack subs project power ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles and special operations units.

References: Naval News, DVIDSHUB

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