USS South Dakota Returns Home for the Holidays

USS SouthDakota SSN790 pic

With the winter season in place, the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS South Dakota (SSN 790) finally returns home for the holidays to Naval Submarine Base New London on Sunday, December 18th. The submarine was deployed for five months under the command of Commander Adam Zaker.

USS South Dakota Returns Home for the Holidays

With its arrival being in the heart of the holiday season, the shipmates enjoyed a positive return. “Whenever a shipmate can welcome home a submarine on the advent of the Christmas season, it’s a magical and joyous occasion for sailor and family alike,” explained Captain John Stafford, commander of Submarine Squadron 4, under which South Dakota operates. “Commander Zaker and his crew executed a vital role in the defense of our nation and furthered the prospect of freedom and liberty abroad. I am incredibly proud of their deployment.”

“They have well-earned the reunion with loved ones and the satisfaction that comes from a job well done,” he continued. “These important missions would be impossible without the support and sacrifice of their families at home. My deepest thanks go out to the spouses, children, brothers, sisters, parents, and friends who stand the watch over the home front during long months of deployment.”

Personnel Earned their Submarine Warfare Insignias

During its deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) steams over 30,000 nautical miles and made a port call to Tromso, Norway. A total of 20 enlisted personnel, along with two officers, earned their submarine warfare insignia—commonly referred to as “dolphins”—during their deployment period.

“The crew of South Dakota proved once again to our country and world that America’s submarines can deploy any time, be almost anywhere and execute any mission we’re given,” said Zaker. “I’m tremendously proud of the professionalism and commitment to excellence shown by the South Dakota sailors over the past several months at sea, and I’m deeply thankful for the sacrifices made by our families and loved ones while we’ve been away. We all truly cherish these reunions.”

USS South Dakota History

USS South Dakota was commissioned on February 2nd of the year 2019. It is the 3rd U.S. warship commissioned under the name South Dakota, following a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser commissioned in the year of 1908. It was the lead ship of a class of fast battleships, which was commissioned in the year of 1942 and operated during World War II. The USS South Dakota features:

  • A length of 377 feet
  • A weight of 7,900 tons
  • A crew of over 130 personnel

The Benefits of Fast Track Submarines

Fast track submarines like the USS South Dakota are multi-mission platforms that enable five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. They’re designed to excel in the following:

  • Anti-submarine warfare
  • Anti-ship warfare
  • Strike warfare
  • Special operations
  • Intelligence
  • Surveillance
  • Reconnaissance
  • Irregular warfare
  • Mine warfare

Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and cruise missiles in the prevention/response to regional crises.

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