Homeport Changes and Rumors of Homeport Changes
(Intel Source: The Sub Report) An article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin has some guesses about possible future homeport changes for some submarines. Regarding the possible final homeport of PCU Hawaii (SSN-776), Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle said, "...the new Virginia-class submarine, USS Hawaii, will likely be home-ported at Naval Station Pearl Harbor."
The article continues:
"...But Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Brackenbury, Navy spokeswoman at the Pentagon, said this week "it's way too early in the process," noting that it will not be until after 2007 when a port selection will be made. "We are expecting the sub to be completed in 2007," she said, "then it will go on a year-long shakedown cruise."
"Still, Rear Adm. John Donnelly, deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, earlier this year also predicted the possibility that the Navy's newest nuclear-powered sub, with the capability to operate in shallow waters, could be berthed here. He predicted that two more Los Angeles-class nuclear attack subs could be sent to Pearl Harbor.
"That would tip the balance of the Navy's sub fleet, which is split nearly evenly between West and East coasts.
"Some Navy officials say they don't expect the number of subs at Pearl to go beyond the current level of 17. That could mean that one of Pearl Harbor's subs, which includes USS Honolulu, could be assigned to Guam, which has three nuclear subs. Apra Harbor is now the home of USS San Francisco, USS Corpus Christi and USS Houston."
As far as sending more boats to Guam, I'm wondering if the Navy might possibly consider using a "two-crew" plan similar to what we use for boomers, to send another boat out there quickly to replace USS San Francisco. Both crews could be stationed in Pearl, but one would be with the boat as it operates out of Guam. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with.
The article also has a status of all the Virginia class subs at the bottom:
USS Virginia (SSN-774), commissioned and in service
USS Texas (SSN-775), under sea trials; delivery in 2005
USS Hawaii (SSN-776), under construction; delivery in 2007
USS North Carolina (SSN-777), named December 11, 2000; delivery in 2006
USS New Hampshire (SSN-778), has been ordered for delivery in 2010
USS New Mexico (SSN-779), has been ordered for delivery in 2010
I'll be interested to see if Newport News really delivers the North Carolina before EB delivers the Hawaii...