Nuclear submarine USS Topeka changes command

U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) changed command during  a ceremony at the Naval Base Guam chapel on August 5.

Cmdr. Steven Tarr III took charge of the submarine from Cmdr. David Lammers.

Capt. Jeffrey Grimes, Joint Region Marianas Chief of Staff and former commander of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 15, was the guest speaker for the ceremony.

Lammers was in command approximately two and a half years, during which Topeka completed an engineered overhaul in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 20 days ahead of schedule, successfully changed homeport from San Diego to Guam and conducted forward operations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Topeka recently completed national tasking in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, where the crew executed the Chief of Naval Operations’ Maritime Strategy supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

Lammers heads to the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) following Topeka’s change of command.

Tarr is looking forward to his time as Topeka’s new commanding officer.

“The past few weeks have made me excited to serve as your commanding officer,” said Tarr. “Topeka’s crew is the best in the submarine force, and I know we will continue to succeed.”

Topeka, commissioned Oct. 21, 1989, is the Navy’s third ship to be named for the city of Topeka, Kansas, and is the fourth “improved” Los Angeles-class attack submarine.

Improved modifications of this class include retractable bow planes, a reinforced sail for under ice operations, vertical launch Tomahawk cruise missile capability, ship quieting enhancements and an integrated combat systems suite.

Measuring 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Topeka has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors and is capable of supporting various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Topeka is a member of SUBRON 15, which is located at Polaris Point in Apra Harbor, Guam.