The new attack submarine Minnesota finally returned to the fleet in late May, fully repaired from a mysterious problem that bedeviled the sub and stretched its overhaul to two years.
Minnesota was commissioned in September 2013 and, after a shakedown cruise, it was slated to spend less than a year in its post-shakedown availability (PSA) at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, and join the fleet in February 2015. Then came a baffling series of setbacks.
In early 2015, engineers discovered a shoddy part installed close to the nuclear reactor. Exposure limits near the reactor and an ensuing federal investigation stretched the overhaul to 27 months at a time while the fleet needed more attack boats, like the state-of-the-art Minnesota, to carry out missions around the world. That limbo finally ended on May 27, when the Minnesota completed its PSA and docked at Naval Submarine Base New London.