From Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Attack submarine USS Virginia (SSN 774) returned home to Groton, Conn., July 3, after completing a 14-week surge deployment overseas.
Virginia's crew of more than 140 officers and enlisted personnel departed March 28 to conduct assigned theater security missions in the U.S. European Command region.
Cmdr. Steven Antcliff, Virginia's commanding officer, expressed pride in his team's performance.
"The surge deployment proved the professionalism and dedication of the crew and their families," said Antcliff. "Crew performance was outstanding."
Virginia deployed one month after completing a six-month deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility Feb. 13.
Vice Adm. Philip Davidson, the 6th Fleet commander, sent Virginia's crew a congratulatory message days before the submarine arrived home from the latest deployment.
"Well done to the officers and crew of USS Virginia," said Davidson. "Your presence unquestionably enhanced America's safety and security."
Davidson characterized the crew's ability to deploy for nine of the past 11 months as a "testament to the readiness and tenacity" of the submarine force.
As the first ship of the Navy's next-generation attack submarine class, Virginia is a highly capable undersea platform.
The submarine is equipped to conduct covert surveillance, attack land targets with Tomahawk cruise missiles, support Special Forces, and hunt other ships and submarines.
The 377-foot-long vessel is the Navy's 10th vessel and first attack submarine named for the nation's 10th state.