Submarine that played role in Syria airstrikes returns to Norfolk


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia-class attack submarine that played a role in airstrikes executed against Syrian targets back in April is back in Norfolk.

The USS John Warner fired six Tomahawk missiles from the Mediterranean Sea during the strikes. 

Pentagon officials said the John Warner was involved in the operation along with two other Norfolk-based ships: the USS Laboon, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and the USS Monterey, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser.

While deployed, the John Warner steamed more than 30,000 nautical miles, visiting ports in Scotland, Gibraltar and Greece.

Commander Burt Canfield says it was a success. 

“For me it’s just a culmination of not just a lot of hard work of individuals but the crew itself watching my guys mature and come together,” explained Canfield. 

The John Warner arrived at Naval Station Norfolk Wednesday morning.

“It feels great, it’s elation, it’s jubilation, it’s awesome,” said Sailor Christopher Delbello, who says this was his first deployment. 

Canfield says he’ll soon move to on shore duty and will be turning it over to Commander Will Wiley. 

Named for former U.S. Sen. John Warner, the attack submarine was commissioned in 2015 after being delivered to the U.S. Navy ahead of schedule. Warner served as secretary of the Navy before entering politics in 1978.

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