WASHINGTON — This week, the USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) will undergo its inactivation ceremony in Bremerton, Washington following 35 years of service to the United States.
To honor her legacy, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., officially recognized the USS Pittsburgh in the Congressional Record.
He also joined other members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation in commenting on the submarine’s legacy.
“For 35 years, the USS Pittsburgh has traveled around the world, serving as both a strategic tool for gathering intelligence and a symbol of America’s military strength,” said Toomey. “During her years in service, the USS Pittsburgh was home to American sailors who bravely served to keep our nation safe — particularly during Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom.”
He extended his gratitude to all those who served on the submarine.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., offered remarks as well.
“I am pleased to join my colleagues to honor the service of the brave veterans and servicemembers who have served on the USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720),” said Casey. “This U.S. Navy vessel took part in vital missions and offered support to our soldiers around the world in its 35 years of exemplary service. Like its namesake city, the USS Pittsburgh represents the best of American ingenuity, duty and excellence.”
The fast attack Los Angeles-class submarine was commissioned in 1985. In April 1991, the USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) and the USS Louisville (SSN-724) launched Tomahawk missiles against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Years later, in 2002, the ship departed for the Mediterranean Sea and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In November 2017, the USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) completed its 1,000th dive, a milestone few submarines reach in service. Last year, the ship returned to Naval Submarine Base New London after its final deployment and transited to Bremerton, Washington for decommissioning. The USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) is the fourth ship to bear the name of the steel city.
The decommissioning is set for Jan. 17 at Naval Underseas Museum in Keyport, Wash.
The Los Angeles-class, sometimes called the LA-class or the 688-class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that forms the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force. Sixty-two submarines of this class have been completed, 41 are still in active service.
The Los Angeles class contains more nuclear submarines than any other class in the world. The final commander of the USS Pittsburgh was Cmdr. Jason Deichler, a Pittsburgh native. The USS Pittsburgh completed its most recent deployment Feb. 25, 2019. During the deployment, the boat and her crew steamed more than 39,000 nautical miles and conducted three foreign port visits, according to the U.S. Navy.