US Navy attack submarines return from Western Pacific deployments

Two US Navy attack submarines returned to their homeports on March 30 after concluding deployments to the Western Pacific.

Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Mississippi (SSN 782) was welcomed by family and friends at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after six months of operations.

Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) wrapped up a shorter, three-month deployment, returning to its forward-deployed homeport at Apra Harbor, Guam.

Mississippi’s commanding officer Cmdr. Eric Rozek attributed the submarine’s successful completion of her Western Pacific deployment to the performance of the crew.

“The men and women of Mississippi worked exceptionally hard to prepare and deploy to the Western Pacific,” said Rozek. “Additionally, the crew was outstanding ambassadors, representing themselves, Mississippi, the Navy, and our nation as they worked together with our maritime partners and allies.”

During the deployment, 31 USS Mississippi sailors earned their submarine warfare qualification and 19 sailors advanced in rank.

While deployed, Mississippi made the first ever port visit by a U.S. Navy submarine to the port of Jeju, South Korea.

Mississippi is one of six Virginia-class fast-attack submarines homeported in Pearl Harbor.

The crew of USS Topeka saw 10 sailors and two officers become submarine qualified, while two officers were promoted.

Topeka was commissioned Oct. 21, 1989, and is one of four boats in its class assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 15, which is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam, in Apra Harbor, Guam. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) and USS Frank Cable (AS 40).