Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
USS San Francisco (SSN-711)

USS San Francisco (SSN-711)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'USS San Francisco (SSN-711)'
Start a new discussion about 'USS San Francisco (SSN-711)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia


USS San Francisco (SSN-711), a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine
Los Angeles class submarine
The Los Angeles class, sometimes called the LA class or the 688 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. With 43 submarines on active duty and 19 retired, the Los Angeles class is the most numerous nuclear powered...

, is the third ship or boat of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 to be named for San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

.

History


The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
Northrop Grumman Newport News
Newport News Shipbuilding , originally Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company , was the largest privately-owned shipyard in the United States prior to being purchased by Northrop Grumman in 2001...

 in Newport News, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

, on 1 August 1975 and her keel was laid down on 26 May 1977. She was launched
Ship naming and launching
The ceremonies involved in naming and launching naval ships are based in traditions thousands of years old.-Methods of launch:There are three principal methods of conveying a new ship from building site to water, only two of which are called "launching." The oldest, most familiar, and most widely...

 on 27 October 1979 sponsored by Mrs Robert Y. Kaufman, and commissioned
Ship commissioning
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military...

 on 24 April 1981, with Commander J. Allen Marshall in command.

Following an initial shakedown cruise, San Francisco joined Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet and moved to her homeport at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

. San Francisco completed deployments in 1982, 1985, and 1986 with the U.S. Seventh Fleet and various independent operations in the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 in 1986 earning the Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Squadron Seven in 1985. She earned a Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Unit Commendation
The Navy Unit Commendation of the United States Navy is an award that was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal on 18 December 1944...

, a second Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Squadron Seven and her crew was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal
Navy Expeditionary Medal
The Navy Expeditionary Medal is an award of the United States Navy which was first created in August 1936 by General Orders of the Department of the Navy...

 for independent operations in 1988.

San Francisco entered a Depot Modernization Period at Pearl Harbor from 1989 to 1990 and then went on to conduct deployments to the Western Pacific in 1992 and 1994. The submarine was awarded the 1994 Commander Submarine Squadron Seven "T" for excellence in tactical operations and a Meritorious Unit Commendation
Meritorious Unit Commendation
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is a mid-level unit award of the United States military which is awarded to any military command which displays exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service, heroic deeds, or valorous actions....

 for the 1994 Western Pacific deployment.

On 18 December 2002 San Francisco arrived at her new homeport at Apra Harbor, Guam.

Collision with seamount


On 8 January 2005 at 02:43 GMT, San Francisco collided with an undersea mountain
Seamount
A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface , and thus is not an island. These are typically formed from extinct volcanoes, that rise abruptly and are usually found rising from a seafloor of depth. They are defined by oceanographers as...

 about 675 kilometers (364 Nautical Miles, 420 statute miles) south-east of Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 while operating at flank (maximum) speed and more than 200 feet (61 m) deep. The collision was so serious that the vessel was almost lost — accounts detail a desperate struggle for positive buoyancy to surface after the forward ballast tanks were ruptured. Twenty-three crewmen were injured, and Machinist's Mate Second Class Joseph Allen Ashley, 24, of Akron, Ohio
Akron, Ohio
Akron , is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. It is located in the Great Lakes region approximately south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 199,110. The Akron Metropolitan...

, died on 9 January from head injuries. Other injuries to the crew included broken bones, lacerations, and a back injury. San Francisco’s forward ballast tanks and her sonar dome were severely damaged, but her inner hull was not breached, and there was no damage to her nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

. She surfaced and, accompanied by the USCGC Galveston Island
USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349)
USCGC Galveston Island is an in the United States Coast Guard. She was commissioned on June 5, 1992. Her original home port was Apra Harbor, Guam, but later changed to Honolulu, HI, which she still calls home today....

 (WPB-1349), USNS GYSGT Fred W. Stockham
USNS GYSGT Fred W. Stockham (T-AK-3017)
USNS GySgt. Fred W. Stockham is a container & roll-on roll-off support vessel in the United States Navy'sMilitary Sealift Command .The vessel is the second Navy ship named after Marine Gunnery Sergeant Fred W...

 (T-AK-3017), and USNS Kiska
USNS Kiska (T-AE-35)
The USNS Kiska is one of five ammunition ships operated by Military Sealift Command, and one of the 41 ships in the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force. The ship was laid down on 8 April 1971 at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, MS as the USS Kiska and was launched on 11 March 1972...

 (T-AE-35), as well as MH-60S Knighthawks and P-3 Orion
P-3 Orion
The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or...

 maritime patrol aircraft, arrived in Guam on 10 January. The U.S. Navy immediately stated that there was "absolutely no reason to believe that it struck another submarine or vessel." Later, an examination of the submarine in drydock showed unmistakably that the submarine had indeed struck an undersea mountain which had only vague references on the charts available to San Francisco.


Commander Kevin Mooney, San Francisco’s captain, was reassigned to a shore unit in Guam during the investigation of this collision. As the investigation concluded, the Navy found that, despite Mooney's otherwise remarkably good record, "several critical navigational and voyage planning procedures" were not being implemented aboard San Francisco. Consequently, the Navy relieved Mooney of his command, and also issued him a letter of reprimand. He was not charged with any crime, and he was not court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

ed. Six crew members were also found guilty at their own non-judicial punishment
Nonjudicial punishment
Non-judicial punishment in the United States military, is a form of military justice authorized by Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Non-judicial punishment or "NJP" permits commanders to administratively discipline troops without a court-martial...

 hearings ("Captain's Mast") of hazarding a vessel and dereliction of duty, and they were reduced in rank
Reduction in rank
Reduction in rank may refer to two separate concepts:*In military law, a reduction in rank is a demotion in military rank as punishment for a crime or wrongdoing, imposed by a court-martial or other authority...

 and given punitive letters of reprimand. For their actions in the crisis, twenty other officers and men received awards, including letters of commendation, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

The seamount
Seamount
A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface , and thus is not an island. These are typically formed from extinct volcanoes, that rise abruptly and are usually found rising from a seafloor of depth. They are defined by oceanographers as...

 that San Francisco struck did not appear on the chart in use at the time of the accident, but other charts available for use indicated an area of "discolored water", an indication of the probable presence of a seamount. The Navy determined that information regarding the seamount should have been transferred to the charts in use — particularly given the relatively uncharted nature of the ocean area that was being transited — and that the failure to do so represented a breach of proper procedures.

Since San Francisco had recently had her nuclear fuel replaced, and thus she was expected to remain in-service until 2017, the Navy determined that repair of this submarine was in its best interests. Temporary repairs were made in Guam to provide water-tight integrity and forward buoyancy, so that the boat could safely transit to another location for more extensive repairs. San Francisco steamed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility is a United States Navy shipyard covering 179 acres on Puget Sound at Bremerton, Washington...

 (PSNS) in the State of Washington via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where she arrived on 26 August 2005.

In June 2006, it was announced that San Francisco’s bow section would need to be replaced with that of the soon-to-be-retired USS Honolulu
USS Honolulu (SSN-718)
USS Honolulu , was a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Honolulu, Hawaii. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 15 September 1977 and her keel was laid down on 10...

 (SSN-718) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Though San Francisco is four years older than Honolulu, she had been refueled and upgraded in 2000–02. The cost of her bow replacement has been estimated at $79 million, as compared with the estimated $170 million to refuel and overhaul the nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

 of Honolulu.

On 10 October 2008, San Francisco undocked after a successful bow replacement at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The dry-docking project involved cutting more than one million pounds off the forward ballast tanks and sonar sphere of the former USS Honolulu and attaching it to San Francisco. After the completion of repairs and sea trials in April 2009, San Francisco shifted homeport to Naval Base Point Loma
Naval Base Point Loma
Located in Point Loma, a neighborhood of San Diego, California, Naval Base Point Loma was established on 1 October 1998 when Navy facilities in the Point Loma area of San Diego were consolidated under Commander, Navy Region Southwest...

, San Diego, California.

External links