The day – USS Minnesota returns from deployment

Groton – It might have been a day after Thanksgiving, but the crew and families of the US Navy Virginia-class attack submarine USS Minnesota were still grateful for the safe return after nearly seven months at sea.

Submarine Commander Bradley Bozin said in a prepared statement: “I was inspired by the Minnesota crew for this nearly seven-month deployment.

Bozin added that he thanked the families of the crew for their sacrifices during the deployment. “Our success is based on their strength.”

Families gathered for more than an hour in tents on the base’s waterfront, huddling around the outdoor heaters and avoiding the rain showers while awaiting the first glimpse of the ship carrying their loved ones. When the submarine finally appeared, guided by tugs Paul A. Wronowski and John P. Wronowski of the Thames Towboat Co., cheers rang out from the waterfront.

The first ceremonial kiss went to Seaman Kyle Hodgson and Steffanie Dube, while the first hug went to Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Porter and his wife Brittany and children Athena, 3, and Apollo, 11 months. Three newly-pinned first homemakers were next in line to welcome their families. The three, Chief Yeoman Steven Shinavier, Chief Electronics Technician Alexander Alkema and Chief Machinist Mate Sean Ingino, were pinned down in a ceremony on board. The pinning ceremony for the new leader on the base took place on November 19.

The Minnesota is the 10th Virginia-class ship and the third United States Navy ship to bear the name and the second of two named for the state, while the other bears the name of the Minnesota River.

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