By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs
Virginia-class submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) embarked members of the Navy Special Warfare community for scheduled interoperability exercises during a brief stop in Souda Bay June 4, 2021.
The combined exercises demonstrate the ability to seamlessly integrate SEALS into existing Navy missions in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations to ensure global access, security, and stability in the maritime domain.
“New Mexico’s skill and dedication to the mission make her an ideal submarine to integrate with the special warfare community,” said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet. “The asymmetric advantage of these forces enables the Navy to adapt mission sets to address any maritime challenge.”
U.S. Special Operations Command Europe commander, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. David Tabor, was able to visit with the SEALS and submarine Sailors during a trip to the base in Greece.
“The training between Navy SEALS and USS New Mexico are a real-life demonstration of the capabilities the U.S. military can bring to bear,” sand Maj. Gen. David H. Tabor, commanding general of Special Operations Command- Europe. “It is important to remember Special Forces do not operate in a vacuum. Close coordination between Special Operations Forces and conventional forces acts as a force multiplier and leverages discreet capabilities to enhance lethality and contributes to dominance on the battlefield.”
Virginia class submarines have special features to support special operations forces (SOF), including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of SOF and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. The class also has a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers.
New Mexico is on a routine deployment conducting maritime security operations with allies and partners in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations. Homeported in Groton, Connecticut, New Mexico is the sixth submarine of the Virginia class and was commissioned in March 2010.
U.S. Sixth 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.