GROTON, Conn. (March 15, 2019) – The Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) returned from deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London, Mar. 15.
The crew returned to town manning the rails of the submarine proud to be able to chant their saying of “33 Long, 15 Strong,” meaning that this deployment marked 33 years of service and 15 completed deployments for USS Providence (SSN 719).
During the deployment, 30 crewmembers earned their dolphins (the submarine warfare device) and 42 crewmembers were promoted. There were also five crewmembers who became new dads while deployed. The first child born was Chief Machinist’s Mate Auxiliaries Rami Dia’s new son, Tariq. All five dads were able to be present for their children’s births and then returned to the submarine to complete the deployment.
Ashley Miller shared the first kiss with her husband, Electronics Technician Submarine Navigation Third Class Collin Miller. Chief Electronics Technician Submarine Communications Eric Whitaker gave the first hug to his children and his wife, Sherri Whitaker.
Katie Freeze, a leader of the Family Readiness Group, was more than happy to welcome her husband Lt. Matthew Freeze, Providence’s navigator, home from deployment as she’d had her hands a bit full during the long deployment with twin girls at home.
“I am very happy he’s coming home to help with our twin three-year-old girls and am very proud of him,” said Katie Freeze. Military life and deployments are nothing new to the Freeze family though. Lt. Freeze’s parents are both West Point Academy graduates and their youngest of five children, Lt. Freeze’s sister, will be attending West Point in the fall. Go Navy, Beat Army must be a tough battle cry in that household, but like most great Sailors, Freeze appears to have charted his own course.
Under the command of Cmdr. Jason Grizzle, Providence is returning from the European Command Areas of Responsibility where the crew executed the Chief of Naval Operations’ Maritime Strategy in supporting national security interests and Maritime Security Operations.
Between an earlier July 2018 surge deployment and this deployment, Providence has sailed a total of more than 50,000 nautical miles, or 2.3 trips around the Earth at its equator. Port visits were conducted in Faslane, Scotland and Haakonsvern, Norway during which Providence’s crewmembers showed great professionalism as ambassadors of the U.S. Navy and the Submarine Force.
Commissioned on July 27, 1985, Providence is the 32nd Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarine and the fifth U.S. Navy ship to be named for the city of Providence, Rhode Island. It is 360 feet long with a beam of 33 feet.
Sonar Technician Submarines Third Class Kenneth Williams’ family was full of pride as he stepped off the brow of a submarine bearing the same name as the ship his grandfather had served on a half-century earlier. Williams comes from a family of Sailors. Both of his grandfathers were in the Navy. His maternal grandfather, William Burton, served aboard USS Providence (CLG-6), which served as the Flag Ship of Commander, 7th Fleet during Burton’s period of service aboard the ship during the Vietnam War. Portions of that Providence were melted down and used in the construction of the current submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) which his grandson now serves aboard.
Fast-attack submarines like Providence are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. The submarine is designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare – from open ocean anti-submarine warfare to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, to projecting power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.
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