NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756) returned to Naval Station Norfolk from a regularly scheduled deployment Monday, Jan. 13.
Under the command of Cmdr. Seth Burton, the submarine is returning from the European (EUCOM) and Central Command (CENTCOM) Areas of Responsibility (AOR) where it executed the Chief of Naval Operation's Maritime Strategy in supporting national security interests and Maritime Security Operations.
"Scranton operated form more than six months in the European and Central Command Areas of Responsibility," said Burton. "While in theater, we conducted missions vital to national security, and participated in critical naval exercises involving ships and aircraft from multiple NATO and Coalition Allies. The exercises were crucial in continuing our strong partnerships in both regions.
"My crew's performance on deployment was that of pure professionals. They did an exceptional job maintaining the ship in a harsh operational environment while having the mental and physical discipline to maintain almost a 90 per cent operational tempo in support of theater commanders' objectives in the EUCOM and CENTCOM AORs."
During the deployment Scranton steamed more than 40,000 nautical miles. They were able to conduct port visits to Lisbon, Portugal; Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; Bahrain; Rota, Spain; and Diego Garcia.
"Additionally, the crew executed the Navy's liberty mission to perfection, being gracious ambassadors of our country to multiple foreign ports of call," said Burton. "I could not be prouder of the amazing work my crew accomplished on this deployment and the positive impression they left on the citizens of Europe and the Middle East."
Some significant personnel milestones were achieved during their time overseas.
"During deployment, we had 29 crew members complete their Submarine Warfare qualifications and 48 were advanced to their next superior rank, including three to chief petty officer and one to senior chief petty officer. Scranton also contributed to the long-term health of the submarine force by re-enlisting 36 Sailors totaling 174 years of future service to our country.
"Demonstrating the submarine force's spirit of initiative and innovation, Scranton became the first fast attack submarine to conduct a full deployment in the new Submarine Force Eight-Hour Watch routine, which allowed the crew to operate on a 24-hour day vice the traditional 18-hour rotating 'submarine day'."
Despite the personal and professional accomplishments, and the chance to experience different cultures in various countries, the crew is glad to be back in Norfolk.
"We are super excited to spend some well-deserved time with friends and family after the long push over the last 18 months preparing for and executing and extended overseas deployment," said Burton. "However, we will soon get back to work ensuring Scranton is ready to execute any operational tasking that we are called upon to perform in 2014."
Fast-attack submarines like Scranton have multi-faceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary's military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.
Named after the city of Scranton, Penn., located in the Lackawanna River Valley, Scranton was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company and was commissioned Jan. 26, 1991. The 360-foot ship has a crew compliment of 16 officers and 122 enlisted Sailors, displaces 6,900 tons of water, and can travel in excess of 20 knots while submerged.
For more information on the submarine force visit the Submarine Force web site at www.public.navy.mil/subfor/hq.