PEARL HARBOR – The Pacific Submarine Force and the Pearl Harbor waterfront bid farewell to the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Houston (SSN 713) in an Aloha celebration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, June 6.
Sailors, submarine veterans and friends and families of the crew celebrated her 33 years of honorable service to the U.S. submarine force.
Home-ported out of Pearl Harbor since January 2012, Houston departed Pearl Harbor for Bremerton, Washington, where she will be decommissioned on August 26. Houston will spend the following year going through deactivation and disassembling of components for historical archiving.
Cmdr. Scott McGinnis, Houston’s commanding officer, from Richmond, Virginia, thanked everyone for their support of warship Houston and her crew.
“It is a celebration of our time in Pearl Harbor,” McGinnis said. “You can see the energy and amount of people here who are just happy to be a part of the Houston family and celebrate the success.”
During Houston’s 33 years of successful service, the boat has seen more than 15 deployments while performing missions vital to national security and developing maritime partnerships with foreign western pacific nations. Recently, she has served as a training platform for not only her crew, but 46 submariners, across five other boats, and provided command courses for prospective commanding officers.
“The Houston is going to be sending off some outstanding Sailors,” said Senior Chief Sonar Technician (Submarine) Paul R. McCrory, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Houston’s chief of the boat. “Everybody has put their best foot forward. We’ve come through so much with the age of this ship, it’s really hard to maintain after 33 years of active service. It’s been special to watch the guys take advantage of being a part of what’s going to be history.”
McGinnis thanked current and former shipmates for flawlessly maintaining the ship and upholding the responsibility of representing the city of Houston.
“To the people of Houston, our relationship has never been stronger with the city,” McGinnis said. “We look forward to seeing you again. Just because we are decommissioning, we have another year of crew life. It’s really never about the ship, but the hard work and effort of the crew. I can’t wait to bring Sailors back out to see Houston to see the outpouring of Navy support.”
Houston was constructed at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia, and was commissioned on September 25, 1982.
Houston is the fourth U.S. Navy vessel named in honor of the city of Houston, Texas. She is a 362-foot long, Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine displacing 6,900 tons. She can be fitted with Mk-48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.