USS Topeka Returns to Guam
By LT Lauren Spaziano, Commander, Submarine Squadron 15
| January 28, 2017
The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) returned to its homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam, on Jan. 28 following a forward operating period to the Western Pacific.
Topeka, under the command of Cmdr. Steven Tarr III, is returning from the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility where the crew executed the Chief of Naval Operations’ Maritime Strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.
“As a submariner, Guam is the ultimate duty station,” said Tarr. “There are so many great things about the people in the local community as well as those who are here with the military – our warm homecoming today is just one example. I also have the best crew in the Submarine Force, hands down. They impress me on a daily basis with their commitment and perseverance.”
Topeka conducted routine patrols throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in support of maritime security operations that promote stability while maintaining key partnerships with allies across the region.
Topeka had a brief port visit in Yokosuka, Japan, where the crew was able to experience the amazing culture and enjoy some much deserved liberty.
“I love the opportunity to visit new places and explore my surroundings,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Deon Rogers. “This was my first time to Yokosuka, but I am already planning on making my own trip back to Japan.”
Topeka celebrated the various achievements of its crew members in their professional development.
“We had nine Sailors become submarine qualified, nine crew members frocked and one officer promoted,” said Master Chief Electronics Technician Matthew Schecter, Topeka's Chief of the Boat. “One of the great things about this crew is that they challenge themselves not only professionally, but also personally, striving to continually better themselves.”
Topeka was commissioned Oct. 21, 1989, and is the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for the city of Topeka, Kansas. It is the fourth “improved” Los Angeles-class submarine. Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Topeka has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors. Topeka 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 Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 15, which is located at Polaris Point in Apra Harbor, Guam. COMSUBRON 15 staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support of four Los Angeles-class attack submarines stationed in Guam. The submarines and submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) are part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed naval force and are capable of meeting global operational requirements.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Squadron 15, visit our official Navy website at http://www.csp.navy.mil/css15 and be sure to ‘Like’ our official Facebook page, which is located at https://www.facebook.com/SubmarineSquadron15/.
Are you considering Guam as a duty station? Check out the official ‘Go Guam!’ website at http://www.csp.navy.mil/go-guam/ and the downloadable ‘1st Fifteen’ pamphlet to learn more about assignment to Guam and the unique opportunities here!