GROTON, Conn. – The USS North Dakota (SSN 784) has completed its second six-month deployment and returned to the boat’s homeport at Naval Submarine Base, New London in Groton, Connecticut, Jan. 11.
The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine crew, commanded by Capt. Mark Robinson, was welcomed by a parking lot full of socially-distanced friends and families with signs and flowers, a welcoming that Robinson called a “great feeling” for him and his crew.
In total, 38 sailors earned their qualifications in submarine warfare. The crew, operating mostly in the European theater, traveled over 42,000 nautical miles and pulled into two liberty ports – but were limited to the pier due to COVID restrictions.
North Dakota executed the chief of naval operation’s maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations. Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.
North Dakota was commissioned Oct. 25, 2014 and is the second U.S. warship named after the Peace Garden State. It is 377 feet long with a beam of 34 feet and a crew of approximately 132 total officers and enlisted sailors.