Naval History and Heritage Command

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Newport News III (SSN-750)

1989–

The third U.S. Navy ship named in honor of the city in Warwick County, Va. The first Newport News, a freighter built in 1904, was taken over as Odenwald by the U.S. Navy in 1917 and renamed Newport News, reclassified to a cargo ship (AK-3) on 17 July 1920, and served from 1917–1924. The second Newport News was originally authorized as a light cruiser (CL-148) but reclassified to a heavy cruiser (CA-148) in 1944, and served from 1949–1978.

III

(SSN-750: displacement 6,187; 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 torpedoes; class Los Angeles)

The third Newport News (SSN-750) was laid down on 3 March 1984 at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.; launched on 15 March 1986; sponsored by Mrs. Rosemary D. Trible, wife of Senator Paul S. Trible Jr., Va.; and was commissioned on 3 June 1989 at Naval Station (NS) Norfolk, Va., Cmdr. Mark B. Keef in command.

Newport News, Cmdr. Frederick J. Capria in command, deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom I and on 21 and 22 March 2003, she joined 29 other U.S. and British ships and submarines that fired Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) against Iraqi military targets. On 3 December 2003, Capria received the Bronze Star for his command of the attack boat during these battles.

“The Submarine Force brings stealth, endurance, agility, and firepower to the battlefield, and these three units are shining examples of those characteristics,” Vice Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, Commander Naval Submarine Forces explained. “The success of these submarines [is] the direct result of the superior leadership skills of the three commanding officers before you today," he continued. "These skills, coupled with the ability to make tough decisions that only commanding officers must make, are the reasons we are here today.”

“It’s actually very rewarding, not so much the recognition for me, but the recognition for the ship,” Capria added. “After an extensive shipyard period in 2002, the crew quickly transformed [Newport News] from an industrial environment to a front-line warrior.”

Newport News, Cmdr. Matthew A. Weingart in command, collided with Japanese-flagged Mogamigawa, a 299,999-ton tanker operated by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., while Newport News passed submerged southbound through the Strait of Hormuz at about 2215 on 8 January 2008. Neither vessel reported any casualties, but the impact damaged the submarine’s forward ballast tanks and lightly damaged one of the merchantman’s four forward screws and a ballasting tank. Mogamigawa continued under her own power to a nearby port in the United Arab Emirates and subsequently accomplished repairs. Newport News came about and returned to her previous port of call, Mina Salman, Bahrain, where she conducted an initial damage assessment and completed temporary repairs to the ballast tanks. Shortly after the collision, Capt. Norman B. Moore relieved Cmdr. Weingart as commanding officer. Capt. Daniel P. Forney relieved Capt. Moore on 18 January, and on 12 February, Cmdr. David W. Alldridge relieved Capt. Forney. Newport News returned to Norfolk on 24 April.

Newport News III (SSN-750) 1989-110113-N-5947C-001
Sailors on board Newport News render honors as the submarine passes aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN-65) in the Atlantic, 13 January 2011. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase, U.S. Navy Photograph 110113-N-5947C-001, Navy NewsStand)

Two Norfolk-based submarine squadrons consolidated during a ceremony at NS Norfolk on 28 April 2011. Commander, Submarine Squadron (ComSubRon) 8 consolidated under ComSubRon 6, and Capt. Frank Cattani, who led SubRon 8, transferred his leadership role to Capt. Eugene P. Sievers, ComSubRon 6. The latter squadron became the immediate superior in command for the six Los Angeles-class attack submarines home ported in Norfolk: Albany (SSN-753), Boise (SSN-764), Montpelier (SSN-765), Newport News, Norfolk (SSN-714), and Scranton (SSN-756).

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

24 August 2015

Published: Wed Aug 26 10:35:48 EDT 2015