The USS Albuquerque completed its final trip Wednesday when it pulled into Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, where all decommissioned nuclear vessels go to die.
During the fast attack submarine’s 32-year career, it deployed 19 times, cruised more than 500,000 miles and visited nearly 20 countries. In 1999 it fired 10 Tomahawk missiles at targets in Serb-controlled Yugoslavia to earn the nickname “Sure Shooter.”
USS Albuquerque (SSN-706) has been in service since 1983. Looks like there are eight Flight I Los Angeles-class boats still in service. Flight I 688s do not have the vertical launch system (VLS) for Tomahawk missiles and must launch missiles via torpedo tubes.
Next to retire will be USS Buffalo (SSN-715) and USS Dallas (SSN-700) in FY 2017. The Dallas featured prominently in the book ‘The Hunt for Red October’ by Tom Clancy.