Thursday, December 03, 2009

COMSUBPAC Announces Changes of Homeport

Submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) pulls into its new homeport at Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton. Land's arrival from La Maddalena, Italy, completes its change of homeport after eight years of providing mobile fleet support to submarines and surface ships in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Maebel Tinoko (Released)

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Commander Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny announced Dec. 1 that the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) and the fast-attack submarines USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) and USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) will be changing homeports during 2010 and 2011.

USS Emory S. Land, currently completing depot-level maintenance in Bremerton, Wash., will be forward-deployed to Diego Garcia upon completion of maintenance, in accordance with defense agreements between the U.S. and British governments. USS Emory S. Land is expected to depart Bremerton next spring, arriving in Diego Garcia next summer.

The submarine tender will provide an expeditionary maintenance capability to the fast-attack submarines (SSNs) and guided missile submarines (SSGNs), particularly those operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

"Forward-deploying USS Emory S. Land to Diego Garcia will dramatically reduce transit time for our submarines operating in 5th Fleet that require intermediate level maintenance, emergent repair, or logistics support," said McAneny.

Assigning USS Emory S. Land to Diego Garcia demonstrates the Navy's continuing commitment to peace and regional security through maintaining strong capabilities.

USS City of Corpus Christi, currently homeported in Guam, will be replaced in Guam by the Norfolk-based USS Oklahoma City, and the former will be assigned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor. While specific dates are unavailable, the homeport shifts are projected to take place between the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011.

"Shifting homeports for USS Oklahoma City and USS City of Corpus Christi ensure that our most technologically advanced submarines are forward, so we maintain our ability to dominate the sea base and shape potential adversaries," said Rear Adm. McAneny.

City of Corpus Christi will undergo maintenance at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shortly after arrival.

The shift of homeports for the two submarines is not part of the overall military build-up on Guam. While there may be some period of overlap where more than three submarines are assigned, this homeport shift will not result in any long-term increase in the number of submarines homeported at Submarine Squadron 15, which also includes USS Houston (SSN 713) and USS Buffalo (SSN 715).

Officially recognizing the importance of the Asia-Pacific region and the increased threat posed by the proliferation of submarines in the Pacific, the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review mandated that 60 percent of the U.S. Navy's submarines be homeported in the Pacific by the end of 2010.

In accordance with that mandate, USS Hampton (SSN 767), USS Jacksonville (SSN 699), USS Seawolf (SSN 21), USS Connecticut (SSN 22), USS Albuquerque (SSN 706), USS Hawaii (SSN 776), and USS Texas (SSN 775) have already been transferred from the Atlantic to the Pacific Submarine Force. Currently, 31 of the U.S. Navy's 53 fast attack submarines are homeported in the Pacific, with 18 of those 31 homeported in Pearl Harbor. USS Los Angeles (SSN 688) will depart Pearl Harbor for inactivation this winter.