uss california portsmouth
The Virginia-class submarine USS California is escorted from Portsmouth Harbor. US Navy photo by Jim Cleveland

USS California rejoins the fleet

News, Port Watch
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard delivers attack sub in record time

After more than two years docked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Virginia-class attack submarine USS California returned to the fleet on Tuesday, June 15. It was the fastest availability of its kind since the Navy adjusted the Virginia-class maintenance cycle in 2015.

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The California and her crew of 15 officers and 115 enlisted personnel arrived at the Shipyard for maintenance on May 15, 2019. The work schedule was accelerated dramatically following the impact of the pandemic, according to the Shipyard’s Congressional and Public Affairs Office.

uss california portsmouth

“It is a monumental accomplishment to return California to the seas, combat-ready and modernized, to support our national security despite the once-in-a-century obstacles brought forth by COVID-19,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Daniel Ettlich. “Our people took ownership to weather the storm and delivered on our commitment to support America’s Navy.”

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Commissioned in October 2011, the California is a nuclear-powered submarine built to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare missions.

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All photos courtesy Jim Cleveland for the U.S. Navy.