Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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La Jolla (SSN-701)


A coastal city in Southern California.

The first U.S. Navy ship named La Jolla.

(SSN-701: displacement 6,141; length 362'; beam 33'; draft 32'; speed 25 knots; complement 110; armament UGM-109 Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles, UGM-84 Harpoon submarine launched anti-ship missiles, and Mk 48 torpedoes; class Los Angeles)

La Jolla (SSN-701) was laid down on 16 October 1976 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.; launched on 11 August 1979; sponsored by Mrs. Shirley H. Wilson, wife of Representative Robert C. Wilson of Calif.; and was commissioned on 24 October 1981, Cmdr. James R. Lang in command.

La Jolla shifted home ports and operations from the Atlantic Fleet to the Pacific Fleet when she sailed from Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., on 10 February 1982. She visited Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Roosevelt Roads, P.R., passed through the Panama Canal on 7 March, and reached her new home port of San Diego, Calif., on 21 March. La Jolla operated under the cognizance of Submarine Group 5, and visited Esquimalt, B.C., Canada, and Bangor, Wash. The submarine then completed a post-shakedown availability at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Calif., temporarily shifting home ports (1 July-1 December 1982).

La Jolla (separately) fired two UGM-109 Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles while submerged in the Pacific Missile Test Center in March and April 1983.

In 2000, La Jolla gained the ability to support a Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) detachment. The SEALs could deploy utilizing a SEAL Delivery Vehicle, which she could house within a dry deck shelter (DDS).

La Jolla, Cmdr. Kevin K. Roach in command, accomplished her final deployment during a voyage from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hi., to the Western Pacific (4 March-3 September 2014). She steamed more than 35,000 nautical miles while carrying out theater security cooperation operations, and visited Okinawa, Yokosuka, Japan, Sattahip, Thailand, Singapore, and Sepangar, Malaysia. La Jolla was inactivated on 3 February 2015. She arrived at her new home port of Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on 10 November, in preparation to be converted to a moored training ship (MTS-701). She will shift to Norfolk Naval Shipyard for the 32-month conversion, and then to Nuclear Power Training Unit, Charleston, S.C.

Mark L. Evans
25 February 2015

Published: Mon Jun 08 13:37:58 EDT 2020