Our boat and her crew in dry dock at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton CT
Dear Friends of the USS NORTH DAKOTA,
Just wanted to take a few moments and pass along some updates and news from the USS NORTH DAKOTA. The submarine and crew are looking forward to the completion of the Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA). Although the PSA has taken longer than expected, the crew has remained in great spirits and has taken advantage of the additional time in port to complete a great deal of training (and some honey-do lists at home). The crew has performed exceptionally on all certification and readiness examinations and is quite eager to get back underway. 2017 projects to be a very busy year for the USS NORTH DAKOTA. Once the PSA has concluded, the crew will take the submarine through at-sea proficiency training, acoustic and magnetic trials, and weapons system operational testing to include the first-ever operational test launch of the Virginia Payload Tube. Once the crew completes all trials and testing, the second half of 2017 will feature inspections, preparation and certification for the ship’s first full length deployment in 2018.
From a personnel standpoint, many great things continue to happen onboard USS NORTH DAKOTA. 2016 featured two of our own selected for promotion to Chief Petty Officer. The Leading Engineering Laboratory Technician, Chief Petty Officer Reed Cozens, and the Leading Auxiliary Mechanic, Chief Petty Officer Jeffery Jordan, were the two sailors selected for this honored promotion. These two sailors were pinned as Chief Petty Officers at Historic Fort Trumbull in New London, CT. On a beautifully sunny day, the ceremony took place on top of the Fort, overlooking the Thames River with Electric Boat Shipyard and the USS NORTH DAKOTA in the background. The Fiscal Year 2016 Sailor of the Year competition will be concluding shortly and I look forward to announcing the winners, as well as the next Sailor of the Quarter winners, in the coming weeks. With 2016 coming to an end, we are also seeing the end of a period of high crew turnover onboard the NORTH DAKOTA. The vast majority of the Plankowners have now completed their tours, and while their experience will be missed, it is an exciting time as well because the majority of the personnel that will make the 2018 deployment are now onboard and beginning to develop together.
Thanks again for the continued fantastic support. With the generosity of the North Dakota Committee, the television entertainment systems in the Crews Mess, Chiefs Quarters and Wardroom have all been upgraded. The Crews Mess upgrades have been especially useful, because the new TV’s now have all the necessary inputs to link the screens together and are a huge asset for crew training and briefings. Hope everyone out west is enjoying their fall.
All our best,
USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN 784)