USS Topeka Visits Yokosuka


Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka March 20.

This is the submarine’s first port visit as part of its western Pacific deployment.

With a crew of approximately 140, Topeka will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

My crew and I are excited about deploying to the western Pacific,” said Cmdr. Jim Belz, Topeka’s commanding officer. “We have trained extensively in order to support our mission here in the Seventh Fleet. In preparation for this deployment, my crew’s hard work over the past year has been truly amazing and I am very proud of their efforts,” said Belz.

Topeka is capable of supporting a variety of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and mine warfare

“We have had a challenging schedule and our crew has performed in a highly professional manner in all aspects of submarine operations,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Glenn Hurdle, chief of the boat. “I am proud of each man and this deployment is another opportunity to display our strong work ethic and commitment.”

For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Japan.

“I am looking forward to all the great Japanese food, and experiencing some of the unique culture in Japan,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd class Lonnie Laoretti.

Topeka is homeported at Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, Calif.

Naval Today Staff , March 21, 2012;