USS Minnesota returns from deployment
Groton — It may have been a day after Thanksgiving, but the crew and families of the U.S. Navy's Virginia-class attack submarine USS Minnesota were thankful anyway for the safe return following nearly seven months at sea.
Commander Bradley Bozin, the submarine's commanding officer, said in a prepared statement, "I've been inspired by the crew of the Minnesota on this nearly seven-month deployment."
Bozin added that he thanked the families of the crew for their sacrifices during the deployment. "Our success rests on their strength."
The families gathered for over an hour under tents on the base waterfront, huddling around outdoor heaters and avoiding the rain showers as they waited for the first glimpse of the vessel carrying their loved ones. When the submarine finally appeared, guided by the Thames Towboat Co. tugs Paul A. Wronowski and John P. Wronowski, cheers sounded from the waterfront.
The ceremonial first kiss went to Seaman Kyle Hodgson and Steffanie Dube, while the first hug went to Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Porter and his wife Brittany and children Athena, 3, and Apollo, 11 months. Three newly pinned chief petty officers were next in line to greet their families. The three, Chief Yeoman Steven Shinavier, Chief Electronic Technician Alexander Alkema, and Chief Machinists Mate Sean Ingino, were pinned in a ceremony on board. The new chief pinning ceremony on base was on Nov. 19.
The Minnesota is the 10th vessel in the Virginia-class and is the third United States Navy vessel to bear the name and the second of two named for the state, while the other was named for the Minnesota River.
For more photos from the USS Minnesota homecoming click here.