PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Feb. 7, 2012) Los Angeles-class submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge)

PEARL HARBOR - Friends and families of the crew from USS Louisville (SSN 724) gathered at the submarine piers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to say goodbye as the Los Angeles-class submarine departed for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment, Feb. 7.

"The submarine is in excellent material condition thanks to a combined effort of the crew and the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard," said Cmdr. Lee Sisco, USS Louisville commanding officer. "I am extremely proud of the Louisville crew and their families in their ability to rise to any challenge and in the outstanding job they've done through the inter-deployment training cycle to get themselves and this submarine ready for deployment operations."

Since returning from its last deployment in October 2010, Louisville has undergone maintenance and conducted training in preparation for this deployment.

"My crew is extremely excited to be deploying - not only to conduct operations in support of 7th Fleet priorities, but also to visit foreign ports and experience other cultures," said Sisco. "Our deployment goals are for advanced qualifications for junior personnel and improving individual level of knowledge across the board to help improve our overall team performance in core competencies and mission areas."

Louisville is the fourth United States ship to bear the name in honor of the city of Louisville, Ky. The ship's mission is to seek out and destroy enemy ships and submarines, and to protect our naval interests. At 360 feet and 6,900 tons, USS Louisville is well equipped to accomplish this task. Faster than its predecessors and equipped with highly accurate sensors and weapons systems, Louisville is armed with sophisticated MK48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.