The U.S. Navy Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788) returned from its maiden deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut on Feb. 20.
USS Colorado is returning from a deployment to the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) area of responsibility where it executed the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)’ maritime strategy by supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.
“I am humbled by the skill, hard work, and dedication these Colorado warriors displayed for our maiden deployment”, said Capt. Jason Geddes, the Commanding Officer of the boat. “It was an all-hands effort to include the love and support we enjoyed from our amazing families back home.”
During the deployment, Colorado steamed approximately 39,000 nautical miles with the crew supporting diplomatic relationships by conducting port visits in Haakonsvern, Norway and Faslane, Scotland, and celebrated the milestone of crossing into the Arctic Circle.
The boat’s crew demonstrated critical navigational and ship handling skills throughout the deployment. Twenty-one enlisted Sailors and five officers earned their submarine warfare qualification, known as “dolphins,” while 12 enlisted Sailors advanced to the next paygrade and three reenlisted.
Colorado was commissioned in March 2018 as the 15th Virginia-class fast-attack submarine to join the fleet. It is the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine and the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with a name honoring the state of Colorado.
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare (ASW); anti-surface ship warfare (ASuW); strike warfare; special operation forces (SOF) support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.
Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities-sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
The Virginia-class submarine is 377 feet long and 34 feet wide and weighs about 7,900 tons when submerged. It can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots when submerged.
Colorado also has special features to support Special Forces, including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of personnel and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads.