Home Americas US sub recognized for “unique” intelligence collection missions in Europe in 2019

US sub recognized for “unique” intelligence collection missions in Europe in 2019

USS Toledo
USS Toledo returning home from the European theater in 2019. Photo: US Navy

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) for their “truly distinctive contribution” to national security during a 2019 deployment.

The submarine’s crew operated in the European area of responsibility between February and September 2019.

During this time, 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.”

According to US 6th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, the submarine completed multiple missions, including several first-of-its-kind collections. The commander did not reveal any more details about the collections.

When returning from deployments, US Navy submarines can fly a jolly roger flag, indicating that the submarine saw operational action, as was the case in 2017 with the highly-publicized return home for spy submarine USS Jimmy Carter. Marks on the flags can indicate a range of accomplishments, such as launching Tomahawk missiles, hosting special operations, shooting down aircraft or sinking adversaries for example. However, photos shared by the US Navy upon USS Toledo’s return home showed no such flags.

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. The submarine was commissioned Feb. 24, 1995, and is the third US warship named after the northwestern Ohio city.