Thursday, August 13, 2009

USS Topeka Arrives at HMAS Stirling, Australia

The attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) departs San Diego harbor for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. Topeka, commanded by Cmdr. Marc Stern, was commissioned on Oct. 21, 1989 and is one of seven Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines assigned to Submarine Squadron 11. Topeka was showcased in the recently released movie, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." (U.S. Navy photo by Command Master Chief Charles Grandin/Released)

By Ensign Tucker Taylor, USS Topeka Public Affairs

STIRLING, Australia (NNS) -- USS Topeka (SSN 754) arrived at HMAS Stirling, Australia for a scheduled port visit Aug. 12.

"The Australian-American relationship is very important, and visiting HMAS Stirling gives us the opportunity to strengthen that relationship," said Cmdr. Marc Stern, USS Topeka commanding officer.

Topeka recently participated in Submarine Command Course (SCC) operations, a joint effort with the Royal Australian Navy. The exercises, which also featured the Australian submarine HMAS Farncomb, aid in the development of future submarine commanding officers of both navies. Before SCC operations, Topeka participated in exercise SHAREM off the east coast of Australia with the Royal Australian and Royal Canadian Navies.

"Our visit to HMAS Stirling serves as an example of the positive relationship that exists between the United States and Australia, as well as emphasizing our shared dedication to supporting regional stability," remarked Stern. "Australia is one of our closest allies in the Pacific, and this friendship is a key element of peace and stability in the region."

Topeka is homeported at San Diego. Topeka currently serves under Commander, Submarine Group 7, headquartered at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.