APRA HARBOR, Guam (Jan. 9, 2012) The submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) departs Guam for maintenance in Portland, Oregon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Claire Farin)

POLARIS POINT, Guam - Submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) departed her homeport of Guam Jan. 9 for a regular overhaul and dry-docking in Portland, Oregon, while USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) maintains the responsibility of primary afloat maintenance activity in 7th Fleet.

Following Frank Cable’s successful port visits in 2011 to various countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Republic of the Philippines, and a decade of tending submarines and surface vessels assigned to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, the submarine tender will undergo some major preservation and maintenance.

"The ship will be going into dry dock to do our routine maintenance that can’t be accomplished in Guam,” said Capt. Pete Hildreth, the Frank Cable’s commanding officer. “The regular overhaul involves preventive and corrective maintenance to the hull and propulsion plant and throughout the ship. This ensures that the ship can continue on her assigned mission on Guam for eight years.”

With Frank Cable leaving her berth, her sister ship, the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), arrived in Guam from its forward deployed port of Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory last November, taking over temporarily to continue the mission.

“Our mission in Guam is to maintain the three homeported Los Angeles-class attack submarines, USS Buffalo (SSN 715), USS Houston (SSN 713), USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), as well as those deployed to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility,” said Capt. Paul Savage, the commanding officer of USS Emory S. Land. “We'll strive to continue the outstanding submarine repair reputation set by USS Frank Cable while she undergoes maintenance in the continental U.S."

Most of the crew from Frank Cable’s repair department are assigned temporarily to Emory S. Land. “We needed to keep a large portion of USS Frank Cable's highly skilled Sailors here on Guam with us. This transition went very smooth largely due to over six months of very detailed planning, and there was no interruption of submarine repair service," said Savage.

"I am extremely proud of our combined crew's hard work and commitment to accomplish, what I believe is the first-time crew merger of this type,” said Savage.

“With this integration, we've retained the best-of-the-best maintenance talent here on Guam and continue to provide superb support to our Submarine Force."

Following the dry-docking and maintenance, sea trials will be conducted while Frank Cable makes her transit back to Guam.