Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet


COMSUBPAC Press Release

Bates returns for good

Story by JO3 McClain Shewman

PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII –USS William H. Bates (SSN 680), a fast-attack submarine homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, returned home from it’s final deployment on Monday, July 19. Commanded by Cmdr. Curt Stevens, Bates departed March 5th of this year for the last deployment for a Pacific-based Sturgeon-class submarine.

The ship’s crew is excited about being part of the final and historic deployment and understands the importance for a continued U.S. submarine presence worldwide. “Submarines are the most durable, survivable and stealthily assets for ensuring peace,” said Lt. Wesley Guinn of Tucson, Ariz., Bates’ operations officer. “Without them, the U.S. would be hazardously vulnerable,” said Guinn.

“It feels fantastic to return from a flawless WESTPAC, and not only that but as the last of the Sturgeon class. My crew helped the Bates to leave a remarkable impression,” said Stevens. “Everything was successful and I couldn’t ask for a better crew. I wish I could do it all over again,” said the native of Fishertown, Penn.

The submarine force in the Pacific will continue to shrink from as many as 40 in the early 1990’s to only 25 early in the next decade. Ironically, demand for submarines in support of specific national tasking has more than doubled since the end of the Cold War. The submarine William H. Bates was named in honor of the late United States Representative William H. Bates of Massachusetts. Rep. Bates was devoted to the vital importance of U.S. seapower, and served in the Navy for 10 years. Rep. Bates served from 1950 to 1969, becoming the senior Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee and the second ranking House member of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee.

Bates was commissioned in May of 1973 and will inactivate later this summer.
July, 1999