The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) was decommissioned after 34 years of service, Mar. 9.
Louisville arrived in Bremerton, Washington, to begin the inactivation and decommissioning process at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Oct. 22, 2019.
Though COVID-19 mitigation prevented the gathering of Louisville crews, families, and supporters from bidding farewell to the submarine in person, the crew was able to assemble and to lower the ensign from USS Louisville for the last time together.
“This crew has embodied our motto “best of the breed,” said Cmdr. Christopher Brown, from Wilmington, Ohio, Louisville’s final commanding officer. “While this is a bittersweet day, it is also a proud one. Throughout her life, Louisville and her crews have always risen to the occasion and I think this crew will take that spirit out into the fleet to ensure the memory, work ethic and excellence of Louisville lives on. Louisville and all who had the honor of serving aboard her truly are the best of the breed.”
Louisville completed a final deployment, May 2, 2019. The submarine’s ability to support a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and surveillance and reconnaissance, made Louisville one of the most capable submarines in the world.
USS Louisville made naval history by firing the first submarine launched Tomahawk cruise missile in combat.
These capabilities were put to the test during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Louisville made naval history by firing the first submarine launched Tomahawk cruise missile in combat. To accomplish this, Louisville conducted a 14,000 mile submerged, high-speed transit across the Pacific and Indian Oceans to the Red Sea; firing shortly after noon on 19 January 1991. Louisville returned to combat operations in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom where she made history as the only Pacific Fleet SSN to have twice launched cruise missiles in combat when she fired numerous salvos into Iraq.
“I’m proud of the way this crew was able to come together and execute the final mission of USS Louisville,” said Master Chief Electronics Technician (Navigation) Jason Burkett, from Douglas, Georgia, Louisville’s final chief of the boat. “Right to the end, our crew showed up and did their job the way Louisville Sailors always have: with excellence. I’m proud to have been a part of this crew and proud to have played a part in the history of one of the most effective and capable submarines this Navy and our world has ever seen. Hooyah, Louisville!”
Commissioned Nov. 8, 1986, Louisville was the fourth U.S. Navy vessel to be named for the city of Louisville, Kentucky. The boat’s mission was to seek out and destroy enemy ships and submarines, and to protect U.S. national interests. At 360-feet long and 6,900 tons, Louisville could be armed with MK48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines.