BREMERTON has been poked and prodded by multiple inspection teams since January and I am happy to report, the crew has performed well each step of the way. Material, tactical, logistics and engineering readiness have all been inspected by our type and fleet commanders and BREMERTON has been evaluated at standards or above standards in each area. One mission area that is often overlooked, but that I am particularly proud of is how our people centered programs have fared as compared to our peers; command programs that focus directly on the sailors’ advancement and well being. Over the last two advancement cycles, BREMERTON has surpassed the fleet average in advancement and leads the waterfront in numbers advanced. Last quarter alone we advanced half of our sailors eligible. I attribute our success to a couple dedicated First Class Petty Officers (Command Career Counselor and the Education Services Officer) and the Chief’s Quarters who have made it a mission to raise their Sailors’ individual level of knowledge.
July 22nd of this year BREMERTON becomes the longest serving nuclear powered submarine in US history, surpassing the USS Kamehameha at 36 years and 4 months young. After our 2016 deployment, this “American Classic” was starting to show her age; rust began to show through and Special Hull Treatment (SHT) began to peel away. Unsatisfied with the state of BREMERTON’s condition, a dedicated group of deck division sailors took charge. No weekend or holidays were spared in returning BREMERTON to her former glory. Over a short two-month maintenance availability, significant blood, sweat and tears were expended in needle gunning, wire brushing, priming and painting BREMERTON and fairing damaged SHT. BREMERTON is now the envy of the waterfront and I can say she doesn’t look a day over 20.
As I type this log, BREMERTON quietly sails beneath the waves of the Pacific, preparing, for what we believe to be, her final deployment. The salty understand the challenges that are in store for them over the next 12 months. The pollywogs prepare only with baited anticipation, curious to know if they are tough enough to endure struggles of sustained at-sea operations; weeks to months without sunlight and only powdered eggs. Regardless of experience, the men of BREMERTON prepare for deployment selflessly; knowing their sacrifice of six months of freedom is a small price to pay to preserve our way of life as Americans.
USS BREMERTON (SSN-698)