JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) returned home Feb. 12 to awaiting friends and family gathered at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam submarine piers, following the completion of her final deployment, a five-month cruise in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Tracey Cepal, mother of Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Sam Cepal, traveled from Sacramento, California to surprise her son. It was great to hear the ship’s whistles blaring when the boat was coming in and see the excited crowd, she said. "It was a lifetime memory."
USS City of Corpus Christi’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Travis Petzoldt, of Beaver Falls, New York, said he was exceptionally proud of the tenacity and grit of his crew during the ship’s last deployment.
"It is not easy keeping a ship as experienced as ‘City of’ out at sea and on tasking, but they did it," said Petzoldt. "We traveled 30,000 nautical miles, enough to travel around the Earth at the equator and then some."
Master Chief Machinist’s Mate Richard Magee, Chief of the Boat, said that the new Sailors were the energy that kept him moving. "Our newly reported Sailors performed better than I could have hoped for," Magee said. "They were energized all of the time, eager to learn and willing to work as hard as we needed them to in order to keeps this 33-year-old boat doing her job."
During the deployment, 27 Sailors and three officers earned their submarine qualifications and now wear the submarine warfare insignia. Additionally, 18 Sailors were advanced in rank including four who were advanced meritoriously.
"Being a junior Sailor aboard a submarine can be difficult," said Fire Control Technician Seaman Dakota Marshall. "You must acclimate to the submarine culture and then become a master of your craft; however, the benefits and growth that I’ve experienced outweigh the costs substantially."
A number of milestones were achieved during the submarine’s deployment, including participation in a combined joint exercise with India and Japan during Exercise Malabar 2015 and a visit to Yokosuka, Japan as her last foreign port call before being returning home.
The USS City of Corpus Christi is at the end of her 33-year career, which has included service in the Cold War and the Global War on Terror. The warship has been home-ported in Groton, Connecticut, Apra Harbor, Guam, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 1,500 Sailors served aboard 15 deployments during which they were awarded eight Battle Efficiency awards.
Commissioned in 1983, USS City of Corpus Christi has maintained a long standing tradition of excellence and achievement. Her highly trained crews supported the boat through a variety of critical missions in service to the United States Navy. Measuring more than 300 feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons, the submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, surveillance and reconnaissance.
For more news from the Pacific Submarine Force, visit www.csp.navy.mil.