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USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709): Wikis


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USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709)
Name: USS Hyman G. Rickover
Awarded: 10 December 1973
Builder: General Dynamics Corporation
Laid down: 24 July 1981
Launched: 27 August 1983
Commissioned: 21 July 1984
Decommissioned: 14 December 2006
Homeport: Norfolk, Virginia
Motto: Committed To Excellence
Fate: To be disposed of by submarine recycling
Badge: 709insig.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Los Angeles class submarine
Displacement: 5,748 tons light, 6,123 tons full, 375 tons dead
Length: 110.3 m (361 ft 11 in)
Beam: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Draft: 9.7 m (31 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: S6G nuclear reactor
Complement: 12 officers, 98 men
Armament: 4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes

USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Admiral Hyman G. Rickover and the only Los Angeles class submarine not named after a United States city. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 10 December 1973 and her keel was laid down on 24 July 1981. She was launched on 27 August 1983 sponsored by the Admiral's wife, Mrs. Eleonore Ann Bednowicz Rickover, (whose first name is found in a wide variety of spellings, including Eleanore, Elenore, and Eleanor; Eleonore is used on the Admiral's gravestone [1]. SSN-709 was commissioned on 21 July 1984 with Captain Fredrik Spruitenburg in command. A commemorative plaque honoring the ship's namesake was placed within the sub after commissioning with the poem "Admiral Rickover," an eight-line tribute by writer Ronald W. Bell.

Traditionally, few ships of the United States Navy were named after a person who was alive at the time of the christening, but recently the number has increased; the list includes Carl Vinson, Hyman G. Rickover, Arleigh Burke, John C. Stennis, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Nitze, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush.



During the months of January through April 1984 Rickover was nearing the completion of her construction. The initial manning was completed in January. Initial criticality of the ships S6G reactor was achieved on 10 March 1984. Berthing and messing areas were completed in April and on 23 April 1984 the crew moved aboard the ship. A special meal of rib eye steaks, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob was served to remember the occasion.

The ship was placed into service on 24 April 1984 and initial sea trials began on 16 May 1984 with Admiral Kinnaird R. McKee aboard. Admiral McKee served as Director of the Office of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, Department of Energy. The sea trials were completed smartly and in the shortest time ever for a 688 class submarine built at Electric Boat. Admiral McKee complimented the crew on their fine performance prior to his departure.

At precisely 12:08, 21 July 1984 USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) was placed in commission by the commissioning officer Vice Admiral Bernard M. Kauderer, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The ceremony was held in a downpour at Submarine Base Groton, Connecticut was well attended despite the weather and the one hour delay due to the late arrival of Representative Charles E. Bennett of Florida, the principal speaker.

Rickover returns from its Final Deployment. [2]

Rickover was inactivated on 14 December 2006 and will be transported [3] to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, in early 2007 for the year-long inactivation process [4]. She is scheduled to be decommissioned on 1 March 2007.[5] While in Bremerton, ex-Rickover will go through a dismantling program overseen by the Navy. The submarine will remain moored at the shipyard until it is dry-docked for dismantlement and disposal, which is currently scheduled for 2016.

Naval Historical Center Archives of Rickover's Annual Command History [6]

Commanding Officers

  • Captain Fredrik H. M. Spruitenburg, Commissioning Skipper. Commissioned Ensign 1964, he attended the University of Louisville awarded BS in Mathematics, His first command tour was on the USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN 657) homeported in Kings Bay, GA. His next assignment was as PCO Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709). Following commissioning of Rickover, he attended the Naval War College earning a MS in International Relations. Served on the staff SUBGRU TWO for eleven months and assumed command of USS Ohio (SSBN 726) homeported in Bangor, WA. Subsequent tour was with SACLANTREPEUR/CINCLANTFREP as the Assistant for Nuclear Policy and Operations.
  • Rear Admiral Jay M. Cohen was second to command Rickover from 23 January 1985 to 23 January 1988. Under his command, Rickover completed a Post New Construction Shakedown availability in New London, changed homeport 3 May 1985 to Norfolk, Virginia, and completed three deployments. During his command, Rickover was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal (x2), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the SIXTHFLT "Hook'em" Award for ASW excellence, CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for retention excellence, the COMSUBRON 8 Battle Efficiency "E" Award, and was designated the best Atlantic Fleet Attack Submarine for the Battenberg Cup. Admiral Cohen served as Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. [7][8]
  • Captain Bruce S. Lemkin commanded Rickover from 23 January 1988 to 28 July 1990. Under his command, Rickover completed a successful deployment in 1989 to the Mediterranean and to the Arctic in 1990. Rickover was the featured submarine in the PBS documentary, "Submarine: Steel Boats, Iron Men." Mr. Lemkin is currently a member of the Senior Executive Service as the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Washington, D.C. [9]
  • Captain Brenton C. Greene commander Rickover from 28 July 1990 to 2 November 1991. During this time Rickover was awarded the COMSUBRON 8 Damage Control "DC" Award and the crew was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal, Arctic Service Medal and the Sea Service Ribbon for CY 1990.[10]
  • Vice Admiral John Jay Donnelly commanded Rickover from 2 November 1991 to 2 December 1994. Under his command, Rickover was awarded in 1991 the COMSUBRON 8 ASW "A" Award and the crew was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal and Arctic Service Medal. On 20 September 2006, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced that the President has made the following nomination. Navy Rear Adm. John J. Donnelly for appointment to the grade of vice admiral and assignment as commander submarine force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and commander, Submarine Allied Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va. Donnelly is currently serving as Commander, Submarine Forces, U.S. Navy.[11][12]
  • Rear Admiral Joseph A. Walsh served as Commanding Officer of Rickover from 2 December 1994 through July 1997. While under his command, Rickover completed a North Atlantic deployment and was twice awarded the Submarine Squadron Eight Battle Efficiency "E" as well as the Golden Anchor Award. Admitral Walsh is currently the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. [13]
  • Captain Robert E. Schuetz commanded Rickover from July 1997 to 8 July 1999. During his tour, Rickover completed an extended deployment to the North Atlantic, received a Meritorious Unit Commendation and was awarded the COMSUBRON EIGHT Battle Efficiency "E" Award.[14]
  • Captain Peter H. Young commanded Rickover from 8 July 1999 to 7 June 2002. During his tour Rickover completed two Northern Atlantic deployments and was awarded two Navy Unit Commendations, the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion and COMLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for Retention. Additionally, Rickover earned the Tactical "T" twice, the Navigation "N" twice, the Engineering "E" and the Battle Efficiency "E." Captain Young is a recipient of the 2002 VADM James B. Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. [15][16]
  • Captain Kenneth "Kenny G" Gray commanded Rickover from 7 June 2002 to August 2005. Under his command, Rickover was awarded in 2002 the Navy Unit Commendation and COMSUBRON 8 Battle "E" Award, Navigation "N" Award and COMLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for Retention. On 12 April 2004 Rickover returned from six months on patrol in the North Atlantic in support of the War on Terrorism. Captain Gray currently serves as Deputy Chair of the Department of Strategy and Leadership, United States Air War College, Maxwell AFB AL.[17]
  • Commander Robert E. Cosgriff commanded Rickover beginning August 2005 to June 15, 2007. During his tour, Rickover completed a North Atlantic deployment and was awarded the 2005 Tactical "T" and Supply Blue "E". He will have the distinction driving the ship to its final resting place. On 14 December 2006, USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) will decommission at Portsmouth Navy Shipyard, Kittery Maine. Just a short distance from where she was built in 1981. [18]
  • Commander Troy E. Mong commanded Rickover beginning June 15, 2007. [19] He would continue the decommissioning of Rickover at Portsmouth Navy Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, until completed in early 2008.

Major Overseas Deployments

  • 25 Oct 1985 to 21 Mar 1986 - Mediterranean
  • 17 Oct 1986 to 11 Dec 1986 - North Atlantic
  • 14 Oct 1987 to 21 Dec 1987 - North Atlantic
  • 30 Dec 1988 to 27 May 1989 - Mediterranean
  • 21 Mar 1990 to 29 Jun 1990 - North Atlantic
  • 06 Mar 1991 to 10 May 1991 - North Atlantic
  • 20 May 1994 to 17 Nov 1994 - Mediterranean
  • 10 Jan 1996 to 30 Mar 1996 - North Atlantic
  • 06 Dec 1997 to 27 Mar 1998 - North Atlantic
  • 10 Dec 1999 to 10 Jun 2000 - North Atlantic
  • 05 Oct 2001 to 05 Apr 2002 - North Atlantic
  • 10 Oct 2003 to 10 Apr 2004 - North Atlantic
  • 01 Jun 2006 to 11 Oct 2006 - North Atlantic


Unit Awards for USS Hyman G. Rickover [20]

  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) - 1 May 1985–31 March 1987
  • Navy Expeditionary Service Medal (EM) - 20 January 1986–5 March 1986
  • Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM) - 21 August 1994–14 September 1994
  • Navy Battle "E" Award (NE)- 1 October 1995–30 September 1996
  • Navy Battle "E" Award (NE) - 1 October 1996–30 September 1997
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) - 1 December 1997–1 March 1998
  • Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) - 1 December 1999–1 June 2000
  • Navy Battle "E" Award (NE) - 1 January 2001–31 December 2001
  • Navy Unit Commendation - (NUC) 5 October 2001–5 April 2002
  • Navy Battle "E" Award (NE) - 1 January 2002–31 December 2002
  • Navy Battle "E" Award (NE) - 1 January 2006–31 December 2006

External links

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