USS Virginia returns to Groton from surge deployment

The attack submarine USS Virginia (SSN 774) returned home to Groton Friday after a 14-week surge deployment overseas that began one month after the previous deployment of six months, in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

Virginia’s crew of more than 140 officers and enlisted personnel departed March 28 to “conduct assigned theater security missions in the U.S. European Command region,” according to a press release from Submarine Group Two.

“The surge deployment proved the professionalism and dedication of the crew and their families,” said Cmdr. Steven Antcliff, Virginia’s commanding officer. “Crew performance was outstanding.”

Vice Adm. Philip Davidson, the 6th Fleet commander, sent Virginia’s crew a congratulatory message days before the submarine arrived home from the latest deployment. Davidson characterized the crew’s ability to deploy for nine of the past 11 months as a “testament to the readiness and tenacity” of the submarine force.

Virginia is the first ship of the Navy’s next-generation attack submarine class. The submarine is equipped to conduct covert surveillance, attack land targets with Tomahawk cruise missiles, support Special Forces, and hunt other ships and submarines.

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