Wednesday, April 03, 2013

USS Alexandria Returns from Six-Month Deployment

USS Alexandria Returns from Six-Month Deployment

By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Commander, Submarine Group Two Public Affairs
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Los Angles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London April 3 following a regularly scheduled deployment.

Alexandria, under the command of Cmdr. Todd Weeks, returned from its six-month deployment to the U.S. Africa Command and European Command areas of responsibility where it executed the nation's maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and national security operations.

"Throughout the deployment, USS Alexandria met all operational commitments largely due to the hard work of the crew," said Weeks. "I could not be more proud of my crew."

Alexandria steamed more than 34,000 miles during its deployment. The crew looks forward to reuniting with their families. A few of those family members will be performing for the boat as it returns to port, said Weeks.

Tanner and Sierra Steinhagen, both members of the Norwich Free Academy Wildcat Marching Band will not only welcome home the submarine and its crew, but their father, Lt. Cmdr. Neil Steinhagen, USS Alexandria's executive officer, by performing a cacophony of patriotic songs.

"We are excited to have the Norwich Free Academy Wildcat Marching Band, directed by Kristen Motola, performing at our homecoming," said Patty Weeks. "The students offered to perform at the boat's homecoming to support two of their band members' father and to support their local Navy community."

The "first kiss" honor was awarded to Crystal Easley, who welcomed her husband, Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Mack Easley, home.

"The spouses and families of USS Alexandria have done an outstanding job of coping with the difficulties relating to deployment," said ombudsman Tracie Kerstetter. "The families demonstrated extraordinary resilience in coping with two memorable weather events as well as multiple missed holidays. We are so excited to welcome home our Sailors and celebrate their homecoming!

The submarine, commissioned June 29, 1991, is the third Navy vessel to be named for cities in both Louisiana and Virginia.

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