Submarines Decommissioning Through 2007
The message listing the FY07 ship decommissionings came out a couple weeks ago, and five submarines are on this list. USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) was on last year's list, and USS Dolphin (AGSS 555), our only non-nuclear submarine, is a new addition to the FY06 list. The three boats going away next year will be USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708), USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709), and USS Honolulu (SSN 718). Since we're not commissioning four Virginia-class boats in the next two years, the number of available SSNs will continue to drop. Since the four LAs being decommed were all commissioned between 1984 and 1985, they all had 11-12 years of hull life left. I'm disappointed the Navy wasn't able to refuel at least some of them to keep them around.
Of interest only to Navy admin geeks, it looks like the decomm messages aren't coming out quarterly anymore; they've switched to semi-annually. This is still better than last year, when they didn't officially have a decomm NAVADMIN; the one I linked to above was cancelled two days later, and I couldn't find any replacement messages that came out. Looks like whichever CNO office was supposed to handle that message (N80) dropped the ball.