USS MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL SSN 708
The Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708) is the 21st Los Angeles-class attack submarine and the first United States Navy ship to be named for the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on October 31, 1973, and her keel was laid down on January 20, 1981. She was christened and launched on March 19, 1983; Mrs. Penny Durenberger, the wife of Senator David Durenberger, served as sponsor of the ship; Capt. Ralph Schlichter is the prospective commanding officer.
March 10, 1984 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul was commissioned during a ceremony at Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn.
July 26, Cmdr. Charles J. Beers, Jr., relieved Capt. Ralph Schlichter as CO of the MSP.
August 15, The Minneapolis-St. Paul commenced a three-month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) at Electric Boat shipyard.
December 3, SSN 708 arrived in its new homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after a two-day transit from Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton.
April 25, 1985 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul departed Norfolk for classified ASW operations in the Atlantic Ocean. Returned on July 7.
From October 28 through Nov. 22, the MSP was underway for PCO operations at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) range off Andros Island, Bahamas.
June 16, 1986 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul departed homeport for a scheduled North Atlantic deployment. Port visit to Holy Loch, Scotland, from Aug. 17-20; Inport Portsmouth, England, from Aug. 22-27; Port call to Brest, France, from Aug. 28- Sept. 2; Returned to Norfolk on Sept. 15; Underway for support services with USS Norfolk (SSN 714) at AUTEC and Tactical Readiness Examination (TRE) on Oct. 27; Inport Port Everglades, Fla., from Nov. 6-12; Returned home Nov. 14.
December 1, The Los Angeles-class attack submarine entered the floating dry-dock USS Resolute (AFDM 10) at Naval Station Norfolk for a two-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA); Undocked on Jan. 23, 1987; Underway for sea trials from Feb. 6-7; Underway in support of USS Coral Sea (CV 43) Battle Group operations in the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea from March 17-29; Underway for PCO operations and port calls to Port Everglades from May 12- June 5.
June 13, Cmdr. James W. Metzger relieved Cmdr. Charles J. Beers, Jr., as the 3rd commanding officer of SSN 708.
From June 22 through July 15, the Minneapolis-St. Paul was underway for Midshipmen operations at AUTEC range. Inport Port Everglades from June 26-28; Underway for FLEETEX 4-87 in the Puerto Rican Op. Area on Aug. 18; Inport Port Canaveral from Sept. 6-9; Returned home on Oct. 2; Underway for POM workups from Nov. 9-13; Underway for POMCERT from Nov. 23-25.
December 1, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul departed Naval Station Norfolk for its maiden Mediterranean deployment. Brief stops in Gibraltar and Augusta Bay, Sicily, in mid-December.
December 16, The Minneapolis-St. Paul arrived in Antalya, Turkey, for a five-day port visit. Port call to Asdod, Israel, from Dec. 24-28.
January 7, 1988 SSN 708 moored outboard the USS Orion (AS 18) in La Laddalena, Italy, for a six-day Fleet Maintenance Availability (FMAV). Upkeep in La Maddalena again from Feb. 5-21 and Feb. 23- March 1.
March 17, The Los Angeles-class attack submarine moored at Pier 3 in Toulon Naval Base for a four-day liberty in France. Upkeep in La Maddalena from April 13-28; Departed Mediterranean on May 11; Returned to Norfolk on May 21.
July 5, SSN 708 departed homeport for a Midshipmen cruise at AUTEC range. Brief stop at Naval Station Charleston, S.C., for personal transfer on July 8.
August 4, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul anchored off the coast of Rockland, Maine, for a five-day port visit to participate in Lobster Festival. Returned to Norfolk on Aug. 12; Upkeep with USS Hunley (AS 31) from Aug. 17 through Sept. 19; Underway for support services and torpedo firings on Sept. 19; Moored at Pier B2 in Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., on Oct. 2; Underway for PCO operations on Oct. 4; Inport Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, from Nov. 7-8; Returned home after a two-month underway on Nov. 16; Upkeep with USS Hunley from Nov. 16- Dec. 5; Underway for ORSE Preps. from Dec. 5-14; Underway for ORSE from Dec. 15-16.
In February 1989, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul entered the dry-dock Resolute for a two-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). Underway for a Dependent's Cruise on Sept. 17; Underway for special operations in the Atlantic Ocean from October through December.
April 27, 1990 Cmdr. Neil E. Rondorf relieved Cmdr. James W. Metzger as CO of the Minneapolis-St. Paul.
February 21, 1991 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul returned to Norfolk after a six-month Mediterranean deployment in support of Operation Desert Shield. Participated in NATO exercise Sisplay Determination and made port calls to Toulon, France; Naples, Italy; and La Maddalena, Italy.
In April, the MSP was underway in support of Fleet Exercise (FLEETEX) 91-1 and a port call to Port Everglades, Fla.
August 30, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul arrived in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for a 12-month Depot Modernization Period (DMP).
October 24, 1992 Cmdr. Michael P. Agor relieved Cmdr. Neil E. Rondorf as CO of SSN 708.
September ?, 1993 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul departed homeport for a three-month northern Atlantic deployment. Port calls to Tromso, Norway; and Halifax, N.S., Canada.
In February 1994, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine was underway for support services in the Narragansett Bay Op. Area and a port call to NSB New London. Underway in support of CNO project in the Gulf of Mexico and a port call to to Port Everglades on March 1; Underway in support of FLEETEX 2-94 and exercise Agile Provider in April; Underway for a two-week TRAV in Groton, Conn., in May; Underway for weapons proficiency firings at AUTEC range in July.
January ?, 1995 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul returned to Norfolk after a three-month deployment in the northern Atlantic. Port calls to Wilhelmshaven, Germany; and Brest, France.
In March, SSN 708 entered the Newport News shipyard for a two-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).
March 28, Cmdr. Arnold L. Lotring relieved Cmdr. Michael P. Agor as commanding officer of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul.
In June, the Minneapolis-St. Paul was underway in support of USS America (CV 66) BG COMPTUEX Phase II and support services for USS Jacksonville (SSN 699); Underway for SSBN support services in July; Underway for TRE at AUTEC and acoustic trials at Exuma Sound in September; Underway for support services and ORSE in November; Refresher Training at Groton in December; Underway for POM workups and certification in March 1996.
July ?, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul returned to homeport after a three-month Atlantic Ocean deployment.
In September, the Los Angeles-class submarine was underway for a Tactical Development Exercise (TACDEVEX) 18-96 and ORSE. Underway for TRE and TWP at AUTEC in October; Emergent drydocking in November.
In April 1997, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul deployed in support of national security. Returned home in July.
August 15, Cmdr. Michael T. Maliniak relieved Cmdr. Arnold L. Lotring as CO of the SSN 708.
In December, the Minneapolis-St. Paul completed Underway Material Inspection (UMI).
February 26, 1998 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul departed Naval Station Norfolk for a five-month Mediterranean deployment, as part of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) BG. Port calls to Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar; Naples, Italy; La Maddalena, Italy; and Souda Bay, Greece.
In October, the MSP was underway in support of several Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) projects, including Tomahawk Operational Test Launch (OTL), and a port visit to Port Everglades, Fla., for Broward County Navy Days Ft. Lauderdale; Underway for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercises with COMPATWING 11 in December.
In January 1999, the Minneapolis-St. Paul commenced a three-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). Underway for Refresher Training (REFTRA) and a port call to Port Canaveral, Fla., in May; Underway again for REFTRA in June and July.
October 22, Cmdr. John A. Ferrer relieved Cmdr. Michael T. Maliniak as CO of the Minneapolis-St. Paul.
January ?, 2000 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul departed Norfolk for a scheduled Mediterranean deployment.
After a port calls to La Maddalena, Italy; Souda Bay, Greece; Haifa, Israel; Izmir, Turkey; and Antalya, Turkey, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine arrived in Port Canaveral, Florida, for a mid-deployment port visit before transiting Panama Canal for eastern Pacific operations. Returned to homeport in June.
In May 2001, SSN 708 was underway for Prospective Comanding Officer (PCO) operations and Tactical Readiness Evaluation (TRE). Underway for Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination (ORSE) in June; Underway for training availability (TRAV) at NSB New London in August; Underway for REFTRA in September; Underway for Pre-Overseas Movement (POM) workups in November; Underway for POM Certification in December.
January ?, 2002 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul departed Norfolk for a six-month Mediterranean deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
April ?, Cmdr. David S. Ratte relieved Cmdr. John A. Ferrer as CO of the SSN 708 during a change-of-command ceremony at Santo Stefano Naval Base in La Maddalena, Sardinia.
While deployed through July, the Minneapolis-St. Paul also made port calls to Toulon, France; Aksaz, Turkey; Souda Bay; Crete; and Naples, Italy.
In February 2003, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul entered the dry-dock at Newport News Shipyard for a four-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). Undocked in late June; Completed sea trials in early July; Returned home in late July after a port visit to Port Canaveral for VIP cruise; Underway for operational proficiency in early August; Underway for ORSE in late August.
September 17, The Minneapolis-St. Paul emergency sortied from Naval Station Norfolk to avoid the Hurricane Isabel. Underway for three weeks in December to conduct TRE; Underway for POM workups from March through April 2004; Completed POMCERT in April.
November 5, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a six-month deployment in the North Atlantic. The submarine completed three missions in support of national tasking and made port calls to Faslane, Scotland; Stavanger, Norway; and Plymouth, England.
December 3, Cmdr. Edwin J. Ruff, Jr., relieved Cmdr. David S. Ratte as commanding officer of the SSN 708 in a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk's Pier 3.
In February 2005, the nuclear-powered submarine was underway for Independent Steaming Exercises (ISE) and Basic Submarine Assessment (BSA); Underway for Quality Assurance Test (QAST) Tomahawk Missile Shot and port calls to NSB Kings Bay in March; Ammo onload at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va., and a port call to Groton, Conn., in April before underway for Submarine Command Course (SCC) operations; Inport Naval Station Mayport, Fla., in June.
In October, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul entred the dry-dock at Newport News Shipyard for a six-month Pre-Inactivation Restricted Availability.
December 29, 2006 Four Sailors from USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, fell overboard while the submarine was getting underway from HMNB Devonport in Plymouth, England, after a week-long port call. They were rescued by fellow crewmembers and British authorities and taken to a local hospital where Electronics Technican Thomas Higgins and Sonar Technican Submarine 2nd class Michael Holtz were pronounced dead.
January 19, 2007 Vice Adm. Chuck Munns, Commander, Submarine Force, relieved of command Cmdr. Edwin Ruff due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command." Cmdr. Chris Williams, Deputy for Readiness, Submarine Squadron 6, and former CO of USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), assumed temporary command of the Minneapolis-St. Paul.
January 22, SSN 708 departed Naval Station Rota, Spain, after a three-week port call.
April 3, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul returned to Norfolk from her final six-month deployment before inactivation. She also made port calls to Brest, France and Lisbon, Portugal.
June 22, USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708), commanded by Cmdr. Woods R. Brown, II, was inactivated at Naval Station Norfolk's Pier 3. The attack submarine completed 12 deployments and earned seven Meritorious Unit Commendations during its 24-year life span. In the near future, Minneapolis-St. Paul will sail down the Chesapeake Bay for the last time. While some will transfer to new commands, most will remain on board to ensure the submarine completes the transit to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, where she will be decommissioned and taken out of service.
August 3, The MSP arrived at its new homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in preparation for the submarine's decommissioning in 2008.
September 6, Capt. Edward L. Takesuye relieved Capt. Joe E. Tofalo as Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 3, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the SSN 708.
August 28, 2008 USS Minneapolis-St. Paul was decommissioned in a ceremony after more than 24 years of service. The sub will be towed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., for layup pending recycling, starting 2011.