Friday, April 22, 2011

Submarine USS Texas Receives Confederate Artifact

Texas Congressman Visits USS Texas, Leaves Piece of History


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- A Texas Congressman visited Virginia-class submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) April 19 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where he received a tour and left a small piece of history.

Texas Congressman, The Honorable John Culberson, (R-TX,7th) visited Texas to learn about the submarine's capabiltiies and to show his support for its mission.

"It is a great honor for us to have the Congressman visiting our submarine," said Cmdr. Bob Roncska, Texas' commanding officer. "He is certainly a part of the Texas family and a great supporter of the submarine community."

During the tour, Roncska explained basic submarine operations starting in the torpedo room where Culberson observed the latest submarine weapons capabilities. Next was the control room where sonar and visual observation techniques were explained.

"It is amazing of the amount of technology that goes into operating this vessel and the knowledge of your crew is just astounding," said Culberson. "I am extremely proud to be a part of USS Texas and more so for not only what your submarine does for the great state of Texas, but what it does for the United States."

After the tour, Culberson presented the submarine some memorabilia with historic connections to the state of Texas. Enclosed in a glass and wooden case, the items included a Civil War Lone Star hat insignia that belonged to Thomas Harper, a master-at-arms in the Republic of Texas Marine Corps who later served as a lieutenant in the Texas infantry during the Civil War.

"This depicts the fighting spirit of Texas" said Roncska. We are so honored to have this and we will display it with pride."

Texas is the fourth ship to be named for the Lone Star State and the Navy's second Virginia-class submarine. Measuring 377 feet long and weighing 7,800 tons when submerged, she is one of the Navy's newest and most technologically sophisticated submarines.

The state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and strike group operations.