US fast-attack nuke sub arrives in Subic
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—An American submarine arrived at Subic Bay Tuesday, hours before the Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) between the Philippines and the United States.
Carrying a crew of 160 sailors, the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) docked at the Alava Pier at 10 a.m. for the Philippine stage of its Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment routine, according to the US Embassy in Manila.
The submarine was welcomed by a marching band composed of local students.
The Topeka will conduct a multitude of missions and maintain proficiency of the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet, according to the US Embassy.
The US Navy continues to enjoy a close relationship with the Philippines, said Cmdr. David P. Lammers, commanding officer of the submarine.
“Through port visits such as this one, we strengthen our ties and foster valuable cultural exchange. The more we interact, the better we will understand one another and the stronger our alliance will become. I appreciate the efforts that make us feel so welcome when we visit Subic Bay,” Lammers added.
He said Filipino-American sailors aboard the submarine would also have an opportunity to connect with their heritage.
Having moved from the Philippines and raised in California from the age of 3, I never really had a chance to experience true Filipino culture outside of my own family, Machinist Mate 1st Class Juan Paulo Reyes said in the statement.
For many crew members, this is their first Philippine visit.
Measuring more than 91 meters long and weighing more than 6,000 tons, Topeka is a marvel of modern engineering, capable of operating at depths greater than 243 meters at speeds up to 46 kilometers per hour, according to the US Embassy.
On Jan. 5, Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Texas arrived here as part of the Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment.
Texas measures 114 meters long and weighs more than 7,800 tons when submerged. It is capable of executing missions including antisubmarine warfare, antisurface ship warfare, strike, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, mine warfare and shallow water operations, according to a US military fact sheet.
Topeka was commissioned on Oct. 21, 1989, with Cmdr. Timothy M. Richert as her first commanding officer.
It is the fourth ship of the “improved” Los Angeles Class, the Navy’s newest and world’s best nuclear powered attack submarines. These ships are the most advanced undersea vessels of their type in the world.
Faster than her predecessors and equipped with a highly accurate sonar and weapon control system, the ship can be armed with sophisticated Mark 48 and ADCAP torpedoes, as well as Harpoon land/antiship missiles.
It can also launch multipurpose Tomahawk cruise missiles from vertical tubes located in the bow or from her torpedo tubes. Other significant improvements include: full under-ice operational capability, improved ship quieting, onboard over-the-horizon targeting capability, two towed sonar arrays, and retractable bow planes.
The Edca, signed between the US and Philippine militaries last year, allows the United States to expand its presence in the country by building its own facilities. The document also allows the US military to store military assets in selected Philippine military bases.
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