Submarine USS Delaware (SSN 791), under the command of Cmdr. Robert Low, returned to Naval Submarine Base New London on Tuesday, August 14, completing her first six-month deployment since commissioning in April 2022.

Capt. Thomas O’Donnell, commander of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 12, under which Delaware operates, praised the crew for their successful deployment.

“The Delaware and her crew continue to make me proud as one of our newest fast attack submarines,” O’Donnell said. “The crew has excelled in every aspect of mission execution and we’re happy they are home from a very successful deployment.”

“Our submarines are an unmatched lethal force in the undersea domain, but it’s the dedication and sacrifice of our sailors and their families that allow them to complete the mission,” O’Donnell added. “I want to congratulate the crew on a job well-done and thank their families for their endless love, support, and sacrifices here at home.”

Cmdr. Rob Lowe, commanding officer of USS Delaware, commended his crew for their performance on the submarine’s maiden deployment.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the Officers, Chiefs and Crew,” Said Lowe. “Since leaving post shakedown 18 months ago, they have risen to every occasion to train, prepare and successfully complete USS Delaware’s maiden deployment – while driving for improvement every day.

Additionally, we have been incredibly supported by Squadron Twelve, Sub School, Submarine Readiness Squadron (SRS) 32, and our families at home throughout the preparation period and deployment. This successful maiden deployment is a product of the combination of efforts across the extended USS Delaware team.”

During its deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, Delaware steamed nearly 35,000 nautical miles and made port calls to Tromso, Norway, Torshavn and Faroe Islands. Forty-two personnel earned their submarine warfare devices – commonly referred to as “dolphins” – during the deployment and six Delaware sailors had new babies.

Fire Control Seaman Connor Fort-Liss and his wife, Lily Fort-Liss were honored with the ceremonial first kiss on the pier.

Chief Torpedoman Douglas Card was awarded the ceremonial first hug with his wife, Kristin Card.

SSN 791 was commissioned April 4, 2022 and is the seventh U.S. warship named after the 1st state of Delaware. Due to COVID -19 restrictions at the time, the official commissioning date was April 2, 2022 while the boat was underway, making it the first U.S. Naval warship to be commissioned while submerged. It has a length of 377 feet with a beam of 34 feet and a crew of more than 134 personnel.

The Virginia-class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions. Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or response to regional crises.