Los Angeles class submarine USS Tucson visits US Navy’s sole mainland Asia base
The US Navy’s Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) arrived at US Fleet Activities Chinhae, the US Navy’s only mainland Asia base, for a visit on October 7.
The visit is part of the submarine’s deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
“The Korean-American relationship is very important and our visit to Chinhae gives us the opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea,” said Cmdr. Chad Hardt, commanding officer. “My crew and I are looking forward to experiencing the exciting culture of this great Korean city.”
Homeported out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Tucson is able to operate in all oceans of the world. Tucson is the 59th Los Angeles-class attack submarine and the 20th of the improved Los Angeles-class attack submarines to be built.
With a crew of approximately 150, the submarine is equipped with twelve vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles and four torpedo tubes.
While US Navy submarines regularly operate in the region and pull into a number of ports in Japan and South Korea, their movements and port visits are rarely disclosed. A recent series of publicly announced port visits was interpreted by many as a US message to North Korea which has performed a number of missile tests recently.
Port visits like this one regularly provoke a reaction from North Korea which objects to the deployment of US aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered submarines to the Korean Peninsula.