YOKOSUKA, Japan (March 9, 2012) The Seawolf-class attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka during its deployment to the Western Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lara Bollinger)

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The Seawolf-class fast attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka March 9 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.

With a crew of approximately 148, Connecticut conducts a multitude of missions and showcases the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"Our mission is to be ready to employ USS Connecticut against maritime and land threads in defense of our nation and to protect the values of freedom and democracy around the world," said Cmdr. Ian L. Johnson, Connecticut's commanding officer.

Measuring more than 353 feet long and weighing more than 9100 tons when submerged, Connecticut is one of the quietest and tactically superior submarines in the world. As one of three Seawolf class submarines in the fleet, improved sound silencing makes Connecticut one of the quietest submarines ever built. This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, tactical land attack missile strike, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, arctic operations and mine warfare.

This is the second major deployment for this crew in the last year, and their first deployment to the Western Pacific since 2010.

"This is the best and most hard working crew that I have ever been associated with," said electronics technician master chief Troy Harrel, Connecticut's chief of the boat. "This port visit to Yokosuka will allow for a much deserved rest and relaxation for our Sailors, who have performed superbly during this deployment."

For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Japan.

"There are so many places to see and things to do in Japan," said sonar technician 3rd class (submarine service) Aric Woods. "I am really looking forward to being introduced to a new culture, cuisine and scenery; basically I'm excited to see Japan!"

During this port visit, crew members will have an opportunity to interface with their submariner counterparts in the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.

"Port visits like Yokosuka show our commitment to the region and offer a great opportunity to develop the spirit of cooperation with our hosts in Japan," added Johnson.

Connecticut last visited Yokosuka in 2010.

The Seawolf class submarine has the largest torpedo room and eight torpedo tubes vice four on other classes of U.S. submarines. Connecticut's sonar suite employs some of the most advanced sensors and allows for rapid updates to constantly improve processing power. Connecticut was commissioned in December 1998. She is the fifth ship to be named in honor of the fifth state admitted into the union. Connecticut is home ported in Bremerton, Wa.