USS Albuquerque decommissioned after 33 years in service
By ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, N.M. Published: March 1, 2017
KEYPORT, Wash. (Tribune News Service) — After 33 years in defense of the country, the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Albuquerque SSN 706 was officially decommissioned at a ceremony at Keyport Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash., this week.
“She has deployed 21 times to every corner of the globe, accumulating approximately 1.1 million nautical miles steamed, the equivalent of 52 global circumnavigations. She has performed 1,075 successful dives in her lifetime, made port calls in over 35 different foreign ports around the world, participated in over 18 major international naval exercises and seen 14 commanding officers,” keynote speaker Rear Adm. John Tammen, commander, Submarine Group 9, said during the ceremony.
The USS Albuquerque, one of few U.S. warships home-ported on both coasts, was deployed to every ocean in support of every operational command worldwide, he said.
“Most importantly, however, she has forever earned a place in the hearts of those who have called the Albuquerque ‘home’ the last 34 years,” Tammen said. “So we are here … to celebrate the sailors who have made this boat run.”
The boat earned three Navy Unit Commendations, four Meritorious Unit Commendations and four Battle Efficiency “E” Awards throughout her service.
Albuquerque has been at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to begin inactivation and decommissioning since October 2015.
“Decommissioning is not particularly arduous, but it is tedious,” said Cmdr. Donald Tenney, Albuquerque’s final commanding officer, crediting the crew for making many sacrifices.
Albuquerque was the second U.S. Navy ship named for the New Mexico city, according to a news release. The keel was laid by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics in Groton, Conn., December 27, 1979, and launched March 13, 1982.
“As we decommission the aging Los Angeles-class boats, we make room for newer, more advanced submarines,” Tammen said.