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Hartford II (SSN-768)

1994–

The second U.S. Navy ship named for the capital of Connecticut. The first Hartford, a screw sloop-of-war, served (with brief interruptions) from 1859–1956.

II

(SSN-768: displacement 6,927; length 362'; beam 33'; draft 31'; speed 25 knots; complement 110; armament 12 Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes for UGM-109 Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and UGM-84 Harpoon submarine launched anti-ship missiles, and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) torpedoes; class Los Angeles)

The second Hartford (SSN-768) was laid down on 27 April 1992 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.; launched on 4 December 1993; sponsored by Mrs. Laura O’Keefe, wife of Secretary of the Navy Sean C. O’Keefe; and was commissioned on 10 December 1994, Cmdr. George D. Kasten in command.

Hartford briefly touched bottom while she steamed on the surface in shallow waters east of Caprera, Sardinia, Italy, on 25 October 2003. The submarine completed temporary repairs at Naval Support Activity La Maddalena on Sardinia, and then returned to the United States, subsequently accomplishing extensive repairs at Norfolk (Va.) Naval Shipyard.

In October 2007, Hartford successfully launched and recovered an AN/BLQ-11 unmanned underwater vehicle. She launched the vehicle via one of her torpedo tubes, and recovered it with the help of a 60-foot robotic arm.

Hartford, Cmdr. Ryan Brookhart in command, and amphibious transport dock New Orleans (LPD-18) collided in the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 0100 on 20 March 2009. The impact injured 15 sailors on board the submarine, though none reported serious injuries and all returned to duty, and damaged her sail and periscope. The mid watch collision ruptured one of New Orleans’ fuel tanks, tearing a 16 by 18 foot hole and spilling about 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel marine into the water. Aircraft that flew patrols into the following day failed to spot any of the oil on the surface, however, because the currents and winds contributed to dissipating it. Some interior damage also occurred to two of her ballast tanks. Both vessels returned to Mina Salman pier at Bahrain under their own power on 21 March. Rear Adm. Michael J. Connor, Commander Task Force 54 and Commander Submarine Group 7, relieved Brookhart of his command on 14 April. Cmdr. Christopher L. Harkins, Deputy Commander Submarine Squadron 8, who had previously commanded submarine Montpelier (SSN-765), assumed command of Hartford.

Hartford II (SSN-768) 1994-090320-N-9999X-935
The gash in Hartford’s sail is clearly visible as she makes for Bahrain following the collision, 20 March 2009. (Unattributed U.S. Navy Photograph 090320-N-9999X-935, Navy NewsStand)
Hartford II (SSN-768) 1994-090323-N-9301D-133
Chief Navy Diver Jason Potts of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 jumps into the water to inspect New Orleans after she comes about from the collision and returns to Bahrain, 23 March 2009. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mathew J. Diendorf, U.S. Navy Photograph 090323-N-9301D-133, Navy NewsStand)
Hartford II (SSN-768) 1994-090423-N-0000X-001
The doughty submarine returns to the Arabian Sea after completing temporary repairs at Bahrain, 23 April 2009. (Unattributed U.S. Navy Photograph 090423-N-0000X-001, Navy NewsStand)
Hartford II (SSN-768) 1994-120405-N-ZZ999-044
Hartford steams out of the Thames River as she puts to sea from Naval Submarine Base New London while training, 5 April 2012. (Lt. Jeffrey Prunera, U.S. Navy Photograph 120405-N-ZZ999-044, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

22 September 2015

Published: Mon Sep 28 09:38:11 EDT 2015