Citizens in Support of the Sea Services
The Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) is the sixth Virginia-class submarine, commissioned during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk on March 27, 2010. New Mexico is homeported in Groton, Ct. (U.S. Navy photo by Alan Baribeau/Released)
PORTSMOUTH - The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) and her crew of 15 officers and 117 enlisted personnel arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Thursday morning.
While at the shipyard, New Mexico will complete scheduled maintenance work and several system upgrades. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is the Navy's center of excellence for submarine overhaul, repair and modernization.
New Mexico is the sixth Virginia-class submarine, and the second naval vessel to be named in honor of the state. During Ice Exercise 2014, New Mexico made history as the first Virginia-class submarine to surface at the North Pole. Attack submarines like New Mexico are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core-capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.
The submarine is designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare - from open ocean anti-submarine warfare to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, to projecting power ashore with special operation forces and cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.
New Mexico returned from her latest deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility April 26, where it executed the Chief of Naval Operations? maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations. During the deployment, New Mexico steamed approximately 31,000 nautical miles. New Mexico's crew also supported diplomatic relationships by conducting port visits in Faslane, Scotland; Souda Bay, Crete; and Toulon, France.
New Mexico's commanding officer Cmdr. Daniel Reiss joined the Navy through the NROTC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1998. He graduated with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and then attended the nuclear training pipeline and Submarine Officer Basic School. He holds a master of arts in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College and is a graduate of the U.K. Submarine Command Course "Perisher." Reiss assumed command of New Mexico Jan. 18, 2016.
Kittery, Maine, will serve as host community for New Mexico's crew while they are in port.
On 20 August, 2018, the new Navy Sea Cadet Company Commander, Ensign Joe Lokas-Drouillard, brought one of his cadets to the Navy League Council monthly meeting. Cadet Petty Officer 1st Class Robby Galang came to the meeting to give the members a synopsis of his recent trip to Europe.
Last March, PO1 Galang applied to the International Sea Cadet Association to represent the United States at their annual Sea Cadet Exchange Program summer training camp. He was one of two NSCC members from the United States to be chosen to travel to Stockholm, Sweden to train for one week. Cadets from around the world were able to visit Stockholm and travel to several of the hundreds of islands that form the archipelago along Sweden’s coastline. PO1 Galang gained great experience in sailing, rigging, and leadership with international cadets.
The New Council members asked PO1 Galang many questions and thanked him for his visit and his talk. LCDR Runyan presented PO1 Galang with a Navy Week Tshirt as a small token of his successful representation of New Mexico and the United States.
On June 11, at the Navy League Council monthly Board of Director’s meeting, Scott and Lisa Cummings of Albuquerque, attended as guests. They came with a piece of family memorabilia to donate to our Council with the goal to have many people enjoy this rare heirloom. The photo shows the Cummings donating a Naval Officer’s sword that belonged to Lisa’s step-grandfather. Also in the photo are Chuck Vaughan, Council President, and Greg Trapp, Battleship New Mexico Memorial Committee Chairman.
Lisa’s step-grandfather, Lieutenant Commander John Warren, was the Executive Officer onboard battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40). On 6 January, 1945, a Japanese Kamikaze struck the bridge of the New Mexico, killing 29 sailors including the Commanding Officer, Captain Robert W. Fleming. LCDR Warren immediately took over duties as C.O., and continued to operate the ship during the remainder of the naval campaign to liberate Luzon, Philippines from the Japanese.
This photo shows the sword in its new case. It is accompanied by a framed letter explaining its significance. Photos by Damon Runyan.
On 8 June, 2018, the New Mexico Council of the Navy League presented a recently issued proclamation from Governor Susanna Martinez. The Governor issued a State proclamation on 20 May 2018 to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Commissioning of the Battleship New Mexico. The entire proclamation is provided.
CAPTAIN Mike Riley, Unit Commanding Officer, received the proclamation and put it on permanent display in the NROTC Conference Room. CAPT Riley is shown with one of his recently commissioned officers from the Unit, Ensign Ary.
Retired Navy Corpsman Karen Conley relayed this story about her father, Radioman 2nd Class (SS) J.B. Conley. He served from August, 1953, to August, 1957, and still lives here in Albuquerque. Photo attached is J.B. with his USS NEW MEXICO ball cap.
“It was March of 1956, and my mom was pregnant with my brother and my dad was on board the Carbonero (SS-337) undergoing sea trials after overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. The sub did a deep-dive maneuver (the first time for my dad) and the engine room flooded - very similar situation to the USS Squalus (SS-192) disaster in 1939. A block of wood had jammed the main induction hatch. As the Radioman, my dad was in the process of sending the dive message when he was hit with water. The crewmen evacuated to the forward torpedo room and the sub sat on the bottom of the ocean until the water could be pumped out (several hours) - while rescue boats circled on the surface. They made it back to port and my mom went into labor that night and had my brother the next morning. I guess the drama of my brother's arrival pushed the sub near-disaster to the back burner!
Submarine Squadron 12 and about 400 family members welcomed home the USS NEW MEXICO (SSN-779) from six months of overseas deployment on 26 April 2017.
A view from the bridge during homecoming.
Just before mooring during homecoming.
The Commanding Officer, Commander Dan Reiss, welcomed New Mexico Navy League member Damon Runyan aboard for the ride up the river atop the submarine’s sail as a small reward for all the support provided his crew during their time overseas.
This crew left before Thanksgiving, and missed Christmas, New Years, and ton of kids birthdays during this deployment. The NEW MEXICO made its way up the Thames River to Groton, Connecticut and Naval Submarine Base New London. The C.O. mentioned that the submarine put 37,000 miles on the odometer during this mission, and maneuvered past the shoreline of 17 countries. The crew consumed just under 150,000 lbs. of meals during those six months. The families of the crewmen received amazing support from the USSNMX Family Readiness Group during their time waiting for loved ones to return.
Shown is a photo of a presentation made by outgoing New Mexico Council President Chuck Vaughan to Dick Brown, a former NLUS National Director and former President of the USS NEW MEXICO Committee. This flag has been certified to have been flown from the masts of all three of our namesake submarines, USS ALBUQUERQUE (SSN-706) – USS SANTA FE (SSN-763) – USS NEW MEXICO (SSN-779). This is a small token of appreciation to Dick Brown for his 17 years of dedicated volunteer commitment to the New Mexico Council of the United States Navy League.
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last Modified: 28Dec18