USS Parche (SSN-683)

USS Parche (SSN-683)

USS "Parche" (SSN-683), a "Sturgeon"-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the parche (pronounced with two equal syllables: IPA|/pɑrtʃeɪ/), a small, coral reef butterfly fish.

Operational History

The contract to build her was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi on 25 June 1968 and her keel was laid down on 10 December 1970. She was launched on 13 January 1973 sponsored by Mrs. Philip A. Beshany, and commissioned on 17 August 1974, with Commander Richard N. Charles in command.

"Parche" served as a unit of Atlantic Submarine Force until 1976 before transferring to the Pacific Fleet. Once arriving at her new homeport at Mare Island, California, "Parche" received ocean engineering modifications.

From 1987 to 1991, "Parche" began the extended overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard that refueled her and modified her for research and development. A 100 foot (30 m) long extension was added to her hull just forward of her sail. The added section was flat-topped (looking somewhat like the missile deck of a ballistic missile submarine) and provided the space required to support a larger crew and additional equipment. These additions included an extensive array of signals-collecting antennas, electronic gear and other navigational and ocean engineering equipment. The overhaul also added many auxiliary navigational and maneuvering features, including both upward and forward facing short-range sonars, and a suite of armored spotlights and closed-circuit television cameras for under-ice operations.Sontag, S.; Drew, C.; Drew, A. L. (1998). "". Harper. ISBN 0-06-103004-X.]

Upon completion of her modifications, she began a new mission as part of Submarine Development Squadron 5. "Parche" resumed Pacific Fleet operations in 1992 and was transferred to its new homeport at Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Washington, in November 1994.

On 19 October 2004, "Parche" was decommissioned at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Her research and development duties will be assumed by "Jimmy Carter", a "Seawolf"-class submarine whose construction period was extended to include modifications that will allow her to carry out the same types of research and development.

Awards and Commendations

"Parche" is the most decorated ship in the U.S. Navy, receiving a total of nine Presidential Unit Citations, ten Navy Unit Citations, and thirteen Navy Expeditionary Medal awards during its thirty years of service. [ [,15240,147559,00.html?] "Navy News" article reprint "USS "Parche" Dedicates Sail to Museum" by PO2 Maebel Tinoko dated August 29, 2007]

Current fate

The sail of the "Parche" was moved in summer 2006 next to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in preparation for a maritime park in downtown Bremerton that's expected to open in August 2007.

pying Mission

"Parche" successfully tapped into Soviet underwater military communication cables in the Barents Sea in 1979 as part of Operation Ivy Bells. According to Robert Karniol, USS|Jimmy Carter|SSN-23, the successor to "Parche", is "Washington's premier spy submarine". The submarine was also involved in recovering Soviet missile fragments from the seabed following test launches. Karniol writes: "I suspect that "the "Parche" might have gone after these Chinese missile fragments", referring to the DF-21 and DF-15 missiles the People's Republic of China launched into the surrounding Taiwan seas in 1995 and 1996 to deter Taiwan's moving toward independence, and "I suspect that Beijing gave away some useful missile secrets." [Robert Karniol, 5 May 2008 printed edition of "The Straits Times", p.22; subscription required website:; Karnior bases his assertion on the 1998 book ""]


External links

* [] , dedicated to "Parche" before her modification
* [ Federation of American Scientists]

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