USS Hawaii (SNN 776) approaches Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, Feb. 5. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Declan Barnes)

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776) returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka Feb. 5 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.

Hawaii's crew of 134 has been underway in the Pacific on a successful deployment for several months.

"The Hawaii crew has been excited to meet the challenges and experiences we have tackled so far in this Western Pacific deployment," said Cmdr. William Patterson, commanding officer of Hawaii.

Many of the crew members were excited to have the opportunity to visit Japan again.

"I really love the Japanese culture," said Machinist's Mate Fireman Oszaldo Guiterrez. "It's very different than what I've experienced before. I never thought I would visit [Japan], but am even more excited to go back. I want to visit some historic temples and sites that I wasn't able to see last time."

Measuring more than 377 feet long and weighing more than 8,600 tons when submerged, Hawaii is one of the most advanced submarines in the world. Hawaii is the third Virginia-class submarine and is one of the United States' newest fast-attack submarines. The submarine is a multi-mission platform, capable of supporting anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operation forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare.

Hawaii's homeport is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.