Attack submarine USS Toledo earns Navy Unit Commendation

Line handlers moor the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769) to the pier upon the ship’s return home to Naval Submarine Base, New London in Groton, Connecticut Sept 12, 2019. Toledo executed the chief of naval operation’s maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Hoskins)
May 21, 2020

The Acting Secretary of the Navy awarded the Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) to the crew of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769), May 8.

The award recognized the crew for their outstanding performance during their deployment to the U.S. European Command area of operations from February to September 2019.

Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, said Toledo made truly distinctive contributions to national security, allied support, and maritime stability.

“Toledo’s crew worked tirelessly to ensure constant maritime security in the waters surrounding Europe and Africa and enabled U.S. 6th Fleet to execute the full spectrum of naval operations,” said Franchetti. “Unseen and undeterred, their commitment to the mission while forward deployed fostered a safe operating environment for U.S. and partner nation maritime units alike.”

Toledo is homeported in Groton, Connecticut at Naval Submarine Base New London and assigned to Submarine Squadron 12, which is part of the Atlantic Submarine Force.

According to the award citation, Toledo’s crew “conducted multiple demanding missions vital to national security to include the management of two dynamic operational periods. Toledo completed a challenging and short notice intelligence collection event that provided extremely sensitive information to help maintain the Navy’s undersea superiority and improve national defense. Throughout the deployment, Toledo expertly executed national-level tasking, including several first-of-its-kind collections. The unit strengthened key allied relations by supporting a multi-national theater anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Eastern Atlantic.”

Toledo’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Phillip P. Castellano, praised the crew for their warrior spirit and exemplary performance.

“Our crew is extremely honored by this recognition and I could not be more proud of them,” said Castellano. “Throughout the entire deployment, Toledo’s crew worked together seamlessly and never buckled under pressure during challenging missions. This award is a credit to their unwavering professionalism, dedication and bravery.”

In addition to mission execution on the deployment, 33 enlisted Sailors and four officers earned their qualification in submarine warfare, 18 Sailors advanced to the next paygrade, four crew members re-enlisted and two officers screened for executive officer and the rank of commander.

Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, Submarine Forces, said Toledo’s deployment is a good example of the major impact and unique capabilities undersea forces continuously provide to operational commanders.

“Every day, our submariners are at the tip of the spear, forward deployed and ready to strike if needed,” he said. “Toledo’s efforts are a great example of the extraordinary operations our high-caliber undersea warriors are executing around the clock, on scene, unseen with unmatched readiness and skill.”

Established by the Secretary of the Navy on Dec. 18, 1944, and awarded by the secretary with the approval of the President, a unit commendation is conferred on any ship, aircraft, detachment or other unit of the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps that distinguished itself for extremely meritorious service in support of military operations, which were outstanding when compared to other units performing similar service.

Toledo was commissioned Feb. 24, 1995, and is the third U.S. warship named after the northwestern Ohio city. It is 377 feet long and holds a crew of approximately 147, consisting of 18 officers and 129 enlisted Sailors.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.