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Home : SUBPAC Commands : Submarine Tenders : USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) : About the Ship : History

History of USS Emory S. Land

The keel was laid for USS EMORY S. LAND (AS 39) on March 2, 1976. She was launched on May 4, 1977, after being christened by her sponsor, Mrs. Sarah H. Long and was delivered to the U.S. Navy on March 2, 1979. LAND was placed in commission on July 7, 1979. To construct a ship this size required 12,500 tons of steel along with 142 miles of electric cable and 30 miles of piping.

USS EMORY S. LAND was the first of the Navy’s newest class of submarine tenders, designed (but not limited) to support Los Angeles class fast attack submarines. The ship is able to provide nearly any service a submarine or surface ship may require.  To accomplish this she has an engineering plant similar to that of a small town, in addition to various maintenance repair, fabrication and service shops.

In September 1980, LAND deployed to the Pacific Fleet to provide services to the Indian Ocean Battle Group.

In July 1986, she operated as Officer in Tactical Command of four U.S. ships and five foreign ships in transit from the Virginia Capes operating area to New York Harbor, where she participated in the International Naval Review and Fourth of July Statue of Liberty Rededication ceremonies.

EMORY S. LAND operated as the tactical communications platform for Submarine Squadron EIGHT and SIX to work both with and against a surface combatant group in August of 1987.

In 1988, she deployed for 182 days, and steamed 26,011 nautical miles and circled the globe.  Port visits during this voyage included Lisbon, Portugal; Naples, Italy; Port Said, Egypt; Muscat, Oman; Fremantle, Australia; and Rodman, Panama.  During the 92 days she was anchored in the North Arabian Sea, she tended the surface combatants of Joint Task Force Middle East and Carrier Battle Groups operating in the North Arabian Sea.

In July 1993, LAND served as the Commander, Submarine Group TWO flagship during a port visit to Boston, Mass. and was host ship for a visit by the Commander-in-Chief, Russian Northern Fleet, and three visiting Russian warships.

On April 6, 1999, USS EMORY S. LAND set sail from her homeport of Norfolk en route to La Maddalena, Italy, to relieve USS SIMON LAKE (AS 33) as the Navy’s forward-deployed tender in the Mediterranean Sea. LAND provided unmatched ship repair support to the Fleet during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, and conducted a three month deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

In 2005 and 2006, LAND departed La Maddalena, Italy for a new homeport of Bremerton, Washington where she completed a Docking Phased Maintenance Availability and the first-ever Navy-Military Sealift Command (MSC) hybrid crew conversion.  The hybrid crew concept combines the seamanship talents of Sailors and Civilian Mariners.  Unlike other ships operated by MSC, LAND remains a USS naval vessel under the command of a U.S. Navy Captain.

Following completion of the ship’s yard period, LAND set sail on June 14, 2010 bound for yet another new forward deployed homeport of Diego Garcia, as part of the Defense Global Posture Realignment. During this 61 day, 10,000 mile voyage, the ship made port calls in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Guam, and Singapore.  When operating from Diego Garcia, LAND’s mission is to provide an expeditionary maintenance capability to fast-attack submarines and guided missile submarines operating in the U.S. FIFTH, SIXTH and SEVENTH Fleet areas of operation.

EMORY S. LAND and her crew of Sailors and Civilian Mariners stands at the ready to support the U.S. Submarine Force and Surface Fleet in keeping the tip of the U.S. Navy spear sharp in support of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Maritime Strategy and the Global War on Terrorism.

LAND has earned the Navy Unit Commendation Award, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, eleven Battle “E” awards, four Navy Expeditionary Medals, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the NATO medal.