The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard completed scheduled maintenance to the submarine USS California and returned it back to the fleet combat-ready in record time on Tuesday.

Virginia class subs like the USS California usually undergo maintenance every six years. Its crew of 15 officers and 115 enlisted personnel arrived at the Shipyard in May 2019 and gave accolades for getting the work done despite the pandemic.

"The workforce at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the crew of California have proven what teamwork, respect, and ownership can accomplish," Project Superintendent Dave Simoneau said. "The success achieved in maintaining the EDSRA schedule is the direct result of these men and women leaning in and owning it every day! They are the reason we are able to win the ‘Race to Combat Readiness’ and return California to the Fleet in record time to help protect our nation."

Shipyard Commander Capt. Daniel Ettlich was proud of his team that worked on the USS California, the first submarine to be named after the Golden State.

"There is immense pride in knowing PNS bought back time for fleet-readiness. It is a monumental accomplishment to return California to the seas, combat-ready and modernized, to support our national security despite the once-in-a-century obstacles brought forth by COVID-19. Our people took ownership to weather the storm and delivered on our commitment to support America’s Navy,” Ettlich said.

The Virginia class of submarine is an advanced stealth multimission nuclear-powered submarine for deep ocean anti-submarine warfare and littoral (shallow water) operations. They are expected to remain in service until 2060.

The USS California while undergoing maintenance at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
The USS California while undergoing maintenance at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Portsmouth Naval Shipyard)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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