By Lt. Seth Koenig
GROTON, Conn. – The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London on Sunday, March 13, after a nearly seven-month deployment. Colorado operates under Submarine Squadron 4, headquartered in Groton.
“Submarine Squadron 4 proudly welcomes home USS Colorado. There is no more joyous occasion than a deployed submarine returning home to friends and family,” said Capt. John Stafford, commanding officer of Squadron 4. “Words will fail to capture the loving embrace of families reunited or the gratitude we share with our returning shipmates for their steadfast example of service to our nation. The shared sacrifice of the Sailor and family is a good reminder of the meaningfulness that comes from service. These Sailors and their families are examples of the best our nation has to offer. Welcome home.”
During its deployment, USS Colorado, whose commanding officer is Cmdr. Garth Storz steamed more than 45,000 nautical miles.
“Welcoming our Sailors home after a long deployment is such an exciting time,” said Trisha Cook, who leads the boat’s Family Readiness Group and whose husband, Chief Petty Officer Fred Cook, returned with Colorado Saturday. “Seeing everyone’s smiling faces, knowing that the long wait is finally over, is something to cherish. We know our Sailors are just as excited to see us on the pier waiting for their arrival. Today, our families are finally whole again.”
USS Colorado was commissioned in 2018 as the 15th ship in the class and fifth in the redesigned Block III of the class. SSN 788 is the fourth U.S. Navy ship named for the Centennial State, and the first since the battleship USS Colorado was decommissioned in 1947. The submarine is more than 377 feet long and can displace nearly 7,900 tons.
Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.