The USS Scorpion was commissioned on July 29, 1960, and came as a formidable Cold War nuclear-powered vessel. The innovation of the submarine, combined with the high tensions of the time and the constant state of alert brought on by the Cold War, kept the Skipjack active and working almost constantly.
In August 1960, the Scorpion set out to European waters before eventually, in 1961, being transferred to a base in Norfolk, Virginia. The Scorpion kept a standard routine of patrolling the Atlantic coastline and practicing nuclear warfare drills. After a mechanical overhaul lasting from June 1963 to May 1964, the USS Scorpion began patrol of European waters. In 1966, the submarine was sent on an assignment to the Black Sea.
This constant state of patrol meant another overhaul was necessary after the voyage to the Black Sea. However, given the state of the Cold War and the need for submarines to be ready to combat the Soviets at a moment’s notice, the USS Scorpion’s readiness was put above proper maintenance even after years of constant patrol.