Sunday, October 05, 2008

USS La Jolla returns from Western Pacific

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cynthia Clark, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- USS La Jolla (SSN 762) returned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor from a six-month Western Pacific deployment, Friday, Oct. 3.

"We left with a lot of very high expectations and every member of the crew was really looking forward to getting out and getting involved with some other navies," said Cmdr. Doug Sampson, USS La Jolla commanding officer. "One of our many goals was to become experts at submarine operations and we did that."

Since departing Pearl Harbor on April 3, USS La Jolla conducted many exercises with foreign navies and performed tasking from the Commander, Seventh Fleet operational commander. La Jolla also visited Guam, Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan and Singapore.

"We had a great time and we made some great friends," said Sampson. "We were all very sad to leave."

Of course no man does it alone, and Sampson is quick to recognize the outstanding professionalism and work ethic of his crew.

"We were able to keep a 27-year-old submarine at sea and on schedule while maintaining perfect working order, which is really a testament to the guys that work onboard," Sampson said.

Commissioned in 1981, USS La Jolla is 360-feet long and displaces 6,900 tons. The submarine can be armed with both Mark-48 ADCAP anti-submarine torpedoes and Tomahawk guided cruise missiles.