Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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New Hampshire III (SSN-778)


New Hampshire, the 9th of the original colonies to enter the Union, ratified the Constitution on 21 June 1788.

The construction of New Hampshire (BB–70), a battleship to be built by New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., was cancelled on 21 July 1943.


(SSN-778: displacement 6,979; length 377'; beam 33'; draft 32'; speed 30 knots; complement 132; armament 12 Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes, UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 4 torpedo tubes, Mk 48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) upgrade torpedoes; class Virginia)

The third New Hampshire (SSN-778) was laid down on 30 April 2007 at Groton, Conn., by General Dynamics Electric Boat; launched on 21 February 2008; sponsored by Mrs. Cheryl McGuinness, widow of the late Thomas F. McGuinness, Jr., First Officer (co-pilot and Navy veteran) of American Airlines Flight 11, who died during the terrorist attack on 9/11; and was commissioned on 25 October 2008, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, Cmdr. Michael J. Stevens in command.

New Hampshire made her maiden deployment when she sailed to European waters (10 May-22 July 2009). The attack submarine carried out maritime security and theater security operations, and briefly took part in Joint Warrior off the Scottish coast. At times, U.S. ships, submarines, and aircraft trained with Belgian, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, and Turkish forces in the multi-threat exercise. New Hampshire visited Haakonsvern, Norway (20-27 May), and took part with British, German, Norwegian, and Russian forces in the Norwegian Submarine Centennial, commemorating 100 years of submarine operations. Some of the boat’s crewmen participated in a parade through downtown Bergen.

“We have 134 crew members,” Cmdr. Stevens observed. “For about 80 percent, it was their first deployment, and probably for more than that, it was their first time in a foreign country. So it was a lot of fun for them. They had a good time.” New Hampshire completed voyage repairs at Rota, Spain (4-8 June), and wrapped up her deployment by celebrating Independence Day at Toulon, France (3-8 July). Some crewmen also viewed Stage 2 of the 2009 Tour de France. The Navy landed a Dry Deck Shelter (DDS), which can house a Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) Delivery Vehicle, onto the submarine’s hull (10 August-early December 2009, she tested the DDS at sea from 16-30 November).

New Hampshire, Cmdr. John E. McGunnigle, Jr., in command, operated with attack submarine Connecticut (SSN-22), and British and Canadian forces, during Ice Exercise (Icex) 2011, in the Beaufort Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, about 160 miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (28 February-28 April 2011). The Navy’s Director of Submarine Warfare (OpNav N87), together with the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, located at Naval Base Point Loma, Calif., planned and coordinated Icex 2011. A temporary tracking range, consisting of a small village constructed and operated by the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory, was built onto the ice to support the exercise. Each of the submarines received a suite of temporary alternations, comprising sensors especially designed for under-ice Arctic voyages, such as upward looking side-scan sonar and underwater cameras, before they sailed from their home ports (Norfolk, Va., and Bremerton, Wash., respectively). Connecticut thus faced the added challenge of passing through the Bering Strait.

A helicopter flying from the camp explored the most suitable sites for the boats to unload their embarked Arctic lab technicians and their equipment. New Hampshire berthed at an area of slush and open water that the participants aptly named the “Water Works.” Connecticut contained a reinforced hull and broke through the ice to berth at “Marvin Gardens,” an area of ice thick enough to support the people and their gear. At one point, Secretary of the Navy Raymond E. Mabus, Jr., visited Connecticut at Marvin Gardens. New Hampshire surfaced more than once, and then operated with the British Royal Navy, visiting Faslane, United Kingdom (15-19 April).

New Hampshire (SSN-778) II 2008-Icex 2011-1
Connecticut breaks through the ice toward Marvin Gardens. (Cmdr. Christy Hagen, U.S. Navy Photograph, UnderseaWarfare, Summer 2011, Issue No. 45)
New Hampshire (SSN-778) II 2008-Icex 2011-2
New Hampshire grinds through the ice to the Water Works, 15 March 2011. (Jeffrey Gossett, Arctic Submarine Laboratory Icex 2011 Exercise Director, U.S. Navy Photograph, Navy Live)
New Hampshire (SSN-778) II 2008-Icex 2011-3
New Hampshire berths at the Water Works during Icex 2011. (Cmdr. Christy Hagen, U.S. Navy Photograph, UnderseaWarfare, Summer 2011, Issue No. 45)
New Hampshire (SSN-778) II 2008-Icex 2011-4
Distinguished visitors at Marvin Gardens (left to right): Capt. David McFarland, senior military assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), both members of the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee; Secretary of the Navy (SecNav) Ray Mabus; Capt. Roger Isom, Navy Office of Legislative Affairs; Director of Submarine Warfare (N87) Rear Adm. Michael Connor; Jamie Lynch, House Armed Services Committee staff; Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert Hale; and Thomas Oppel, special assistant to the SecNav. (Cmdr. Christy Hagen, U.S. Navy Photograph, UnderseaWarfare, Summer 2011, Issue No. 45).
New Hampshire (SSN-778) II 2008-357693
Snow covers New Hampshire while she moors at Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn., 1 December 2011. (Seaman Michael Henderson, Department of Defense Photograph 357693, Defense Video Imagery & Distribution System)

New Hampshire operates with Submarine Group Two out of Norfolk, Va.

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

15 May 2014

Published: Wed Jun 01 13:57:15 EDT 2016