Cocoa Native Andrew Cromwell Assigned to Los Angeles-Class Submarine USS Key West

By  //  August 1, 2020

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Key West is one of four forward-deployed submarines assigned to CSS-15.

Electronics Technician (Navigation) 1st Class Andrew Walters, a native of Toccoa, Georgia, assigned to Performance Monitoring Team Guam at Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 15, evaluates Electronics Technician (Navigation) 3rd Class Austin Cromwell, a native of Cocoa, Florida, assigned to Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722), while he conducts a critical maintenance check aboard Key West. Key West is one of four forward-deployed submarines assigned to CSS-15. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jordyn Diomede)

SANTA RITA, GUAM – Cocoa native and U.S. Navy Electronics Technician (Navigation) 3rd Class Austin Cromwell is assigned to Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722).

Key West is one of four forward-deployed submarines assigned to CSS-15.

Key West was homeported at the Norfolk Naval Base, Norfolk, Virginia. She operated out of Norfolk, until 1995. During her Atlantic Fleet service, she completed numerous Cold War deployments and supported operations in the Caribbean, Western Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Key West was awarded the “Hook-em” antisubmarine warfare excellence award following her 1990 Mediterranean Cruise.

She later was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation award for her superior performance in Cold War operations during the 1989 and 1990 deployments.

Key West won the “TOP TORP” Torpedo Shooting Competition in 1992, and was later awarded the Submarine Squadron Eight Battle “E” for that year.

Key West deployed with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Battle Group in 1995. During that deployment, she operated in the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf and was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Service, and NATO Service medals.

Following the 1995 deployment, Key West underwent an availability in Norfolk, in preparation for her transfer to the Pacific Fleet in 1996.

She departed Norfolk, in June 1996, and transited the Panama Canal as part of her transfer to the Pacific Fleet. She arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in July 1996, and began operations under Submarine Squadron One.

Key West was homeported at the Norfolk Naval Base, Norfolk, Virginia. She operated out of Norfolk, until 1995. During her Atlantic Fleet service, she completed numerous Cold War deployments and supported operations in the Caribbean, Western Atlantic and Mediterranean. (U.S. Navy image)

Key West visited her namesake city in 1987, for a week-long celebration after commissioning, 1992, and 1994. Since reassignment to the Pacific Fleet she has not been able to visit Key West again.

In April 1997, Key West conducted her first Pacific deployment with the Constellation Carrier Battle Group. During this deployment, she operated in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf. Later that year, Key West was reassigned to Submarine Squadron Three.

In the next year, she deployed to the Eastern Pacific in support of the Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln Carrier Battle Groups, and later supported the 1998 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

From 1998 through 2001, she supported Pacific theater operations in both the Third Fleet and Seventh Fleet area of operations. During this time she participated in numerous bilateral and multilateral exercises with our Pacific Theater partner.

Following the September 11 attacks, she was redirected Bahrain to the Northern Arabian Sea where she launched Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles against Afghanistan in October 2001.

In 2003, 2005 and 2007 Key West conducted deployments to the Western Pacific in support of Seventh Fleet operations.

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In 2007, Key West was named “Battle E” for COMSUBRON THREE, given to the best submarine in its squadron, awarded the Arleigh Burke Trophy for the most improved sea command in the Pacific, and awarded the Naval Unit Commendation for its outstanding accomplishments during the deployment.

In 2009, Key West was again awarded the “Battle E” award for COMSUBRON Three for outstanding performance during the 2009 WESTPAC deployment.

In 2012, Key West shifted homeport to Naval Base Guam to support Seventh Fleet operations as a forward deployed unit.

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