Damaged Submarine USS Connecticut has Finally Made It Home To Washington State (Updated)
USS Connecticut is now near its homeport in Bremerton nearly three months after hitting a seamount.
Pictures, together with online ship tracking data, indicate that the U.S. Navy's seriously damaged Seawolf class nuclear attack submarine USS Connecticut has finally returned home to Washington State. The submarine left San Diego, California, last week, where it had spent just a few days in port after making what could have been a hellish trek for those on board across the Pacific Ocean from Guam. It had spent some two months in Guam after limping there following a collision with an underwater seamount in the South China Sea on Oct. 2, 2021.
Twitter user @drimcalban posted pictures yesterday of what appears to be the USS Connecticut at Naval Magazine Indian Island, a part of Naval Base Kitsap on the Puget Sound in Washington, which also includes the submarine's homeport of Bremerton. He also shared ship tracking data showing a pair of tugs sailing with the stricken submarine, as well as a U.S. Coast Guard escort. This is all very similar to the assortment of accompanying vessels that were seen when the submarine appeared at and then departed from San Diego.
At the time of writing, the Navy does not appear to have issued a public statement about the arrival of Connecticut in Washington. The War Zone has reached out for more information. In November, in announcing that the submarine's captain, executive officer, and chief of the boat had all been relieved, the service had said that the ultimate plan was to get the Seawolf class submarine back to its homeport for extensive repairs.
The exact extent of the damage to Connecticut remains unclear, but pictures and video of the submarine in San Diego confirmed that its forward sonar dome is now missing. There have also been reports that sections of the bottom of the boat's hull were damaged in the accident that have made it unsafe for it to dive. The likely need to sail on the surface, together with the physical damage, would have made its transit from Guam to San Diego and then up the coast to the Puget Sound very uncomfortable at best, as The War Zone has previously explained.
If Connecticut is now indeed back home, which by every indication it is, the Navy can now turn its attention to the complex task of getting the submarine back into service. This will be a costly and time-consuming process made all the more so by the exquisite nature of the Navy's advanced and secretive Seawolf class boats, only three of which were ever made and that you can read more about here.
We will update this story with any additional information we receive about Connecticut's status.
Updated 3:05 PM EST:
The U.S. Navy has now confirmed that USS Connecticut is at Naval Magazine Indian Island.
"USS Connecticut (SSN 22) is at Naval Magazine Indian Island. The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition," Navy Commander Cindy Fields, spokesperson for Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, told The War Zone in a statement.
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org