(Via Ho’okele News)
(Left): Cmdr. Martin Muckian, commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class, fast attack submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772), spends time with his daughter at a farewell lunch before Greeneville departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Feb. 15. (Right): Electronics Technician 1st Class Christopher Neel spends time with girlfriend Angela Kershner. (Bottom): USS Greeneville leaves joint base for a western Pacific deplyment. Photo Illustration by Rico Onaha Hutter
Story and photo by MC1 Steven Khor
Commander Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office
Families and friends bid farewell to the crew of the Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772) as it departed from Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam on Feb. 15 for a deployment to the western Pacific region.
Cmdr. Martin Muckian, Greeneville’s commanding officer, said the submarine and her crew are excited to get under way.
“We had a very successful and rewarding deployment in 2012,” said Muckian. “That makes our experienced Sailors eager to go out there and deploy again. I think our new Sailors are excited to experience their first deployment and see the world, which is one of the reasons many of them, including myself, joined the Navy in the first place.”
Muckian said Greeneville will be working with U.S. 7th Fleet in support of national security objectives, as well as fostering closer ties with allies in the region while on their six-month deployment to the Pacific region.
Greeneville’s goal is to support the operational commander and accomplish the mission, whether that is conducting at-sea operations or in port showing the flag.
Muckian said deployment is a great seasoning experience for the crew, and they plan to use every opportunity to advance the qualifications and experience level of the Sailors.
“The new Sailors on this deployment are going to be the “old salts” for the next deployment, and it is important we give them as much responsibility and experience as they can handle,” said Muckian.
Muckian added that the crew will also have the opportunity to experience enjoyable times at sea and exciting foreign ports of call.
Greeneville recently won the Battle Efficiency Award, or Battle “E” Award, for sustaining superior performance in an operational environment within a command.
Muckian said he hopes the strong performance of Greeneville’s crew that showed all year long in 2013 will have laid the foundation for a great performance on this deployment. But at the same time, Muckian said he does not want the crew to be complacent and forget how challenging deployment can be.
“I have told the crew that you should be justifiably proud of what you have accomplished and enjoy the moment, but don’t rest on your laurels,” maintained Muckian. “Deployment is a very challenging time, and we need to be our own worst critics if we are to keep sharp and stay ahead of those challenges.”
Greeneville deployed with 140 Sailors, many of them on their first deployment.
For Electronics Technician 3rd Class Gabriel Coronado, a first-time deployment brings feelings of anticipation and expectation.
“I expect little to no sleep,” said Coronado. “I’ll probably have some personal growth. I want to be reactor operator-qualified and submarine-qualified before we return.”
Despite the challenges that await the crew of Greeneville, Muckian said he is amazed at the work the Sailors do, and said that success is due to the result of the whole crew doing it right, day in and day out.
“I am honored to lead this crew out on deployment a second time,” said Muckian.
USS Greeneville is the 61st Los Angeles-class submarine and the 22nd improved Los Angeles-class attack submarine. Commissioned in 1996, Greeneville is the first ship of the U.S. Navy to be named after the small town in eastern Tennessee.
Los Angeles-class submarines are ideally suited for covert surveillance, intelligence gathering and special forces missions. This stealth, when combined with the submarine’s Tomahawk cruise missiles, mines and torpedoes, provide the operational commander with an unseen force multiplier.