USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 4. (U.S Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Steven Khor)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Long hugs and kisses from family and friends were seen on the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam as the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) departed Nov. 4, for a deployment to the Western Pacific region.

City of Corpus Christi's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Christopher Buziak, commented that the submarine is ready and her crew is excited to get underway and have the opportunity to operate in support of national objectives.

"The crew is really looking forward to seeing for themselves what deployment is about versus listening to their friend's sea stories," said Buziak.

Buziak, of Korean heritage, said that his submarine has the most diverse wardroom he has ever served with in his 20 years of service. With two department heads, three junior officers and a Chief of the Boat all of diverse ethnicity, Buziak feels the diverse culture brings unique problem solving approaches and perspectives.

"Many of my leadership team actually spent a lot of time living abroad and I think that sometimes brings a synergy of different viewpoints together to come up with potentially non-traditional solutions to problems," said Buziak. "Our team here on City of Corpus Christi is a great example to people of diverse background that will succeed in the submarine force and find alignment with many of the values that they grew up with."

The commander feels that as an ambassador of the United States and the Navy, it is important to show the allies how the United States is culturally sensitive to our partner's traditions and values.

"My Sailors are a great combat team and the diversity only adds to it since it helps symbolize the freedoms and opportunities that we are fighting for and representing," said Buziak. "The submarine force embodies many of the same values that most immigrant cultures possess: hard work, dedication, education, and self-improvement."

Buziak said the goal is to improve their day-to-day excellence. Throughout the deployment, the crew will stress the highest standards of operational readiness.

Of the 135 Sailors who will be deploying, approximately 80% of the Sailors will be on their first deployment. For Fire Control Technician Seaman Joshua Zayac, a first deployment brings much enthusiasm and excitement.

"I'm excited to get out there and gain some once in a lifetime experiences and see the world," said Zayac.

City of Corpus Christi is the second ship to be named after the Texas city and is capable of conducting anti-surface and anti-submarine operations along with guided missile strike operations using conventional Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.