SEPANGAR, Malaysia (Oct. 11, 2011) Sailors aboard submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) man the rails as the ship prepares to moor at Kota Kinabalu Naval Base. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elizabeth Fray)

SEPANGAR, Malaysia (NNS) - Submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) arrived in Sepangar Oct. 11 as part of the U.S. Navy's theater security cooperation and friendship mission.

While in Sepangar, Emory S. Land will exercise its submarine support capabilities by tending USS Columbia (SSN 771), a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, which will be moored outboard the tender.

"We will be performing a variety of submarine support services for Columbia to ensure all systems are fully functioning and operational when she returns to sea," said Cmdr. Jeremy Leghorn, Emory S. Land's repair officer.

Emory S. Land's Repair Department will conduct equipment adjustments and manufacture items to enhance the quality of living for Columbia's crew during their Western Pacific deployment.

"The hospitality shown by the people of Malaysia is representative of the strong relationship that exists between our two nations, and I am excited for my new crew to have the opportunity to interact with the citizens of Malaysia and visit this country's beautiful attractions," said Capt. Thomas Stanley, Emory S. Land's commanding officer. "I am very happy to have the opportunity to visit Malaysia again."

Stanley previously visited Malaysia in February this year when he was commanding officer of the Navy's second submarine tender, USS Frank Cable (AS 40).

U.S. Navy Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners, which make up Emory S. Land's crew, will participate in a Habitat for Humanity home project and will engage in sporting events with members of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Emory S. Land officers and crew will also host a reception.

"Participating in projects such as Habitat for Humanity gives our crew members the opportunity to help others and make a positive impact in the local community," said Cmdr. Michael Whitt, Emory S. Land's executive officer. "I'm proud of the number of volunteers who have stepped forward to join in this project, and I am hopeful that their efforts will be significant and I am confident that this good deed will stay with them forever."

In addition to providing submarine services and engaging in community relations events, the crew will have the opportunity to enjoy the many outdoor tour activities, culture, sites and food in Malaysia.

"We are proud to have this opportunity to represent the U.S. Navy and engage with the professionals of the Royal Malaysian Navy. The strong relationships between our two navies contribute to the peace, security and stability in the region," Stanley elaborated.

Emory S. Land is en route to the Marianas Island of Guam for an extended deployment.

In early 2010, the submarine tender completed its conversion from an all-Navy crew to an integrated crew of Sailors and civilian mariners, becoming the first submarine tender to operate under this hybrid crew concept. In August 2010, Emory S. Land changed homeport to the archipelago island of Diego Garcia and has conducted submarine repair operations throughout the 5th, 6th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility visiting ports in the Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, and India.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg7/.