PEARL HARBOR, (NNS) -- One
of the Navy's newest and most technologically sophisticated
Virginia-class submarines, USS North Carolina (SSN 777) arrived at
her new homeport, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Monday, Nov. 15,
after the completion of a four month inner-fleet transfer from
"The crew of North Carolina is excited to be here. They've been
looking forward to this day for well over two years," said Cmdr. W.E.
"Wes" Schlauder, commanding officer. "Having just completed a long
shipyard period, they are motivated to get to work here in the
Pacific and for the ship's first deployment."
During the transfer, North Carolina conducted a diverse series of
exercises and test events to evaluate and certify the ship's
capabilities in stealth and her new combat system across a range of
submarine mission areas.
"During this time we conducted extensive operational training with
the crew to prepare them for future operations in the Pacific," said
North Carolina's keel was laid on May 22, 2004 and the submarine's
official commissioning ceremony was held on May 3, 2008. Measuring
377 feet long, weighing 7,800 tons when submerged and with a
complement of more than 130 crewmembers, it is the fifth ship to be
named in honor of the Tar Heel State. North Carolina joins two
active Los Angeles-class submarines in the Pacific, USS Asheville
(SSN 758) and USS Charlotte (SSN 766) which are named after cities
in North Carolina.
This state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude
of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship
warfare, strike, special operations, intelligence, surveillance, and
reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and strike group operations.
"We are excited and determined that this legacy of service will
continue as we make our new home here in Hawaii and begin operations
in the Pacific," said Schlauder.
North Carolina will be the third Virginia-class submarine homeported
at Pearl Harbor, and will be assigned to Commander, Submarine