BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21) returned to its homeport of Naval Base Kitsap April 3, after successful sea trials, capping a major maintenance period which lasted more than two years.
"Seawolf has worked hard to return to the fleet, and we are glad to be back at the tip of the spear," said Cmdr. Dan Packer, Seawolf's commanding officer.
For the past 31 months, Seawolf has been at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF), where it underwent a $280 million maintenance package as part of a Depot Modernization Period.
PSNS & IMF has handled all intermediate and depot-level maintenance for Seawolf-class submarines since 2008.
"The Seawolf Depot Modernization Period was very challenging for the shipyard, as this was a first-time major availability for this unique submarine," said Greg Wolfe, Seawolf's project superintendent. "An incredibly talented shipyard management team and seamless teamwork with the ship guaranteed our success through the maintenance period."
While underway for sea trials, Seawolf was put through her paces, testing all systems and verifying that the boat had been restored to full combat capability.
"The talent and professionalism this crew demonstrated in getting our ship underway is a testament to the hard work, training, and dedication of all hands during our maintenance period," Packer said.
Seawolf's next challenge includes a series of training and certification periods for improving the crew's warfighting readiness.
"This crew is confident in their abilities and in the quality work Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Seawolf project management team accomplished over the last two years," Packer said. "We are ecstatic to be at sea again, and Seawolf is even more capable and effective than at any time in her 15 years of service."
Seawolf and the other two submarines in her class - USS Connecticut (SSN 22), also based in Bremerton, and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor - are the fastest, quietest, deepest diving, and most heavily armed fast attack submarines in the fleet.