USS Providence (SSN-719), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the fifth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Providence, Rhode Island. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 16 April 1979 and her keel was laid down on 14 October 1982. She was launched on 4 August 1984 sponsored by Mrs. William F. Smith, and commissioned on 27 July 1985, with Captain E. Morrow in command.
Providence is the first Los Angeles class submarine to be equipped with the Tomahawk missile Vertical Launch System (VLS). While others used test boxes and programs, Providence was the first submarine to launch a Tomahawk cruise missile from the VLS system using its combat system CCS MK1 and associated software C4.1.
Providence has been deployed several times to the Western Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Persian Gulf. Some of the ports visited have included Port Canaveral (Cocoa Beach, Florida) and Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico, Tromsø in Norway, Gibraltar, Toulon in France, Soudha Bay in Crete, La Maddalena in Italy, and Koper in Slovenia, in the Mediterranean, and al-Manama, Bahrain, and both Dubai and Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf. The submarine has made transits of the Suez Canal in 1998, 2001, and 2003 and participated in Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she earned the nickname "Big dog of the Red Sea wolf pack."
She has since been retrofitted with numerous upgrades including the AN/BYG-1 Fire Control system and AN/BQQ-10 ARCI Sonar suite. Her astounding achievements continued in 2006-2007 as she has also completed an around-the-world deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean earning the coveted Order of Magellan certificate, participating in Exercise MALABAR 2006, and many other significant assignments. Port visits included Singapore, Yokosuka and Okinawa in Japan, Goa in India, as well as transits through both the Suez Canal and Panama Canal. In 2008, she completed yet another deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean, only this time taking a northern route, successfully transiting under the arctic ice cap.
The submarine is currently active and assigned to Commander Submarine Squadron 2 at US Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT.
Providence has been awarded three Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, four Navy Expeditionary Medals, six Meritorious Unit Commendations, four Navy Unit Commendations, and six Battle E (Navy "E" Ribbon) awards, three of which were consecutive, and most recently the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Providence won the Tomahawk Strike Derby in 1988  with a 5 second time on target. The USS Providence was the winner of the 2008 Arleigh Burke Award for superior performance in battle efficiency, presented by Fleet Forces Command on Monday 16 June 2008. Providence has, once again, earned the coveted 2008-2009 Battle Efficiency 'E' for COMSUBRON 2.
This article is from Wikipedia and includes information collected from the public domain sources Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Naval Vessel Register.