A US Los Angeles class attack submarine docked at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Thursday for a routine port visit.
The port call in Subic Bay was the ninth and last for the USS Bremerton (SSN 698), said Commander Travis Zettel, the submarine’s commanding officer.
“This is Bremerton’s ninth and final visit to Subic Bay in the ship’s 37 year history. My crew and I are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the local community while simultaneously preparing the ship for the remainder of our deployment,” Zettel said.
An attack submarine, the USS Bremerton is more than 300 feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons when submerged, Bremerton is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and mine warfare, said a statement from the US Embassy in Manila.
The USS Bremerton is also the oldest commissioned submarine in the US Navy and is currently homeported in Pearl Harbor. Later this year, the submarine will move to its namesake city, Bremerton, Washington, where it will be decommissioned after nearly 40 years of naval service, the US Embassy in Manila added in its statement.
Zettel said the submarine’s visit highlights the “strong partnership” between the US and the Philippines, noting that it demonstrates the US Navy’s commitment to regional stability and maritime security.
The visit also gives the submarine’s crew of 150 sailors an opportunity to meet the local community in Subic, Zettel added.
“Bremerton’s arrival into Subic Bay means a lot to both my crew and the U.S. submarine force,” Zettel said in a statement issued by the US Embassy in Manila.
Zettel added that a number of the submarine’s sailors have families in the Philippines, and the port visit gave the crew the chance to better connect with their Filipino heritage.
“It really means a lot to me that I get the chance to visit a number of my family members again,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Gapasin, who lived in the Philippines for six years and still has relatives in the area. /muf