SUBIC BAY, Republic of the —
SUBIC BAY, Republic of the Philippines – The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) arrived at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone Feb. 14 for a routine port call during its deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The visit highlights the strong alliance between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines and gives the crew and opportunity to meet the Filipino people living in the Subic area. It also demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s commitment to regional stability and maritime security in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
“Our highly trained crew is proficient in all core mission capabilities, from anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface ship warfare; to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and precision strike,” said Cmdr. David Cox, commanding officer of USS Louisville. “It has been a number of years since Louisville’s last visited the Philippines and all hands are looking forward to reaffirming the goodwill that has characterized past interactions with our Filipino partners.”
Louisville’s crew of 144 conducts a multitude of missions to maintain proficiency in the latest submarine fleet capabilities. Its stealth, mobility, endurance and firepower allow Louisville to work independently or in conjunction with a carrier strike group.
“Each and every member of our crew has devoted a lot of time, hard work and energy towards preparing themselves and Louisville for this deployment,” said Master Chief Fire Control Technician Larry Williams, chief of the boat. “It is only because of the Sailors that we are successful as a team. I am excited for the crew to be able to do what a lot of them have joined the Navy to do – see overseas countries and represent the U.S. Navy well.”
For some crew members a visit to the Philippines is more than just a liberty call – it’s a return to their roots.
“Growing up, I never imagined I would one day be a Sailor in the U.S. Navy, let alone that I would visit the Philippines as a crew member of a submarine,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Allan Pepito, a native of Cebu in the Visayas. “I look forward to visiting with my parents who are just as excited to have me back home after a very long time.
A visit to the Philippines provides an opportunity for the Louisville crew to recall their military heritage as several crew members have grandfathers who served in the Philippines during World War II. Additionally, in 1944 the heavy cruiser USS Louisville (CA 28) served as the flagship of the American task force that bombarded Leyte to clear the way for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s famous return to the Philippines.
Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons when submerged, Louisville is one of the stealthiest and most modern attack submarines in the world.
“Lou” is the fourth United States ship to be named for Louisville, Kentucky. Commissioned on Nov. 8, 1986 at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, Louisville is the 35th nuclear powered attack submarine of the Los Angeles class. Louisville is currently homeported at Hawaii’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.