USS Greeneville (SSN-772)

USS Greeneville (SSN-772)

USS "Greeneville" (SSN-772), a "Los Angeles"-class submarine, is the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Greeneville, Tennessee. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia, on 14 December 1988, and her keel was laid down on 28 February 1992. She was launched on 17 September 1994, sponsored by Tipper Gore, and commissioned on 16 February 1996, with Commander Duane B. Hatch in command.

The "Ehime Maru" incident

On 9 February 2001, while conducting an Emergency Main Ballast Tank Blow while hosting several civilian "distinguished visitors", the "Greeneville" struck the Japanese fishing vessel "Ehime Maru" (えひめ丸), causing the fisher to sink in less than ten minutes with the loss of nine crewmembers, including four high school students. [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/02/09/sub.accident.02/ CNN.com - U.S. sub hits Japanese fishing vessel, 10 missing - February 9, 2001 ] ] The commander of "Greeneville", Commander Scott Waddle, accepted full responsibility for the incident. However, after facing a court of inquiry, it was decided a full court-martial would be unnecessary and Commander Waddle was allowed to retire honorably.

Saipan incident

On 27 August 2001, "Greeneville" ran aground while entering port in Saipan on a routine Western Pacific Deployment. The boat's underside, rudder, and secondary propulsion motor suffered minor damage; repairs required drydocking and a significant delay in the remainder of her deployment. The boat's commanding officer, Commander David Bogdan, was relieved of command, and the navigator and assistant navigator were also removed from their duties. In addition, the navigator and the sub's executive officer, Lieutenant Commander Gerald Pfieffer, were found guilty of "hazarding a vessel" during an admiral's mast, conducted by Rear Admiral Joseph Enright, Commander, Submarine Group Seven.

USS "Ogden" collision

Then, on 27 January 2002, less than a year after colliding with "Ehime Maru" and exactly five months after running aground, "Greeneville" collided with USS "Ogden" (LPD-5) during a personnel transfer off the coast of Oman, opening a 5 by 18 inch (130 by 460 mm) hole in one of "Ogden"’s fuel tanks and spilling several thousand gallons of fuel. After the collision, both vessels left the area under their own power.

Commander Lindsay R. Hankins was allowed to remain in command and went on to have a very successful command tour with his XO LCDR Mark D. Pyle. CAPT Hankins went on to be awarded the coveted Admiral James Stockdale Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a Navy commanding officer. LCDR Pyle also went on to have the honor of being bestowed with the John Paul Jones award, which recognizes outstanding leadership.

On 9 July 2004, when Commander Lorin Selby relieved Hankins as commanding officer of "Greeneville", Captain Cecil Haney, Commodore, Submarine Squadron One, stated that "The performance of USS "Greeneville" during Captain Hankins' tour has been nothing but remarkable. It has been marked by top grades in both tactical and engineering readiness. Lee Hankins was handpicked by our leadership for the job as CO of Greeneville. They got it right." Hankins was selected for promotion to Captain in 2005 and is currently Commodore of Submarine Squadron One (COMSUBRON 1) based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

References

See also

* Major submarine incidents since 2000

External links

* [http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/details/SSN772.htm USS "Greeneville"] at Naval Vessel Register


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