Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) held a decommissioning ceremony at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Nov. 16, 2021. The ceremony highlighted the ship’s 40 years of service, its many crews, and their legacy. Jacksonville was the only boat to bear the name of the Florida city, and it represented its namesake with honor. The ship and her crew completed Alternate Inactivation Construct, a first-in-kind process that enabled an entire crew’s worth of personnel to return to the fleet and pioneered procedures, policies, and metrics appropriate to the plant and ship conditions of a unit in an inactivation schedule. The crew accomplished defueling in six days and had the shortest time from docking to decommissioning of any submarine, 127 days total.
“As we close the chapter of this magnificent warship, it is important to remember that without the crew, a Naval vessel is just a hulk of steel,” said Wiest. “It is the crews that served aboard her that brought her to life, and kept her alive to do her duty. The rules of the Silent Service prevent specific discussions of her accomplishments, and that is as it should be. Jacksonville was a steely-eyed killer of the deep because of the men who served aboard her. And that, my fellow Americans, is how she should be remembered.”
“There are two special crews in the life of a submarine: the commissioning crew and the decommissioning crew,” said Cmdr. James Wiest, commanding officer of Jacksonville. “We as the decommissioning crew were tasked with gracefully, nobly, and respectfully retiring this warship and honoring the 1,700 plus Sailors who served in her over the last 40 years.”
Los Angeles-class submarines are the backbone of the submarine force. The mission and capabilities of these submarines include undersea warfare, surface warfare, strike warfare, mining operations, special operations forces delivery, reconnaissance, carrier battle group support, escort, intelligence collection and maintaining safety of the seas. During Jacksonville’s service it utilized these capabilities to complete two global circumnavigations and 13 deployments. Jacksonville also received three Battle “E” awards, five Navy Unit Commendations, and one Meritorious Unit Commendation. The keel was laid by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics in Groton, Conn., Feb. 21, 1976. The boat was launched Nov. 18, 1978, and commissioned May 16, 1981.