USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) file photo. (U.S. Navy/MC1 David R. Krigbaum)

NAVAL BASE GUAM - The submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) returned to its homeport in Guam following a five-month deployment, April 11.

Emory S. Land’s return is its first since officially shifting homeport from Diego Garcia to Guam, Dec. 23.

“We’re excited to be back in Guam,” said Capt. Mark A. Prokopius, commanding officer of USS Emory S. Land. “Our Sailors were able to accomplish many great things during this deployment and I look forward to what we’ll be able to accomplish now that we’re back in our homeport.”

During their deployment, Emory S. Land’s crew visited Malaysia, the Philippines, Diego Garica, Singapore and Japan, conducting tended moorings with four submarines, voyage repair periods on six submarines and four surface ships and served as the lead maintenance activity during a successful continuous maintenance availability period for the USS Florida (SSGN 728).

Emory S. Land Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners were also able to participate in subject matter expert exchanges with local partner navies and community outreach programs such as beach cleanups and volunteer opportunities with local charities and children’s homes.

Some Sailors and civilian mariners have special connections to Guam and are excited about what the change of homeport means for them.

"I'm really happy to be back in Guam and even happier that my ship is homeported here," said Logistics Specialist Seaman John Ervin Cagang. "I lived here when I was growing up and it's just good to be back home."

Now that the ship has returned from deployment, the focus of its officers and crew will shift towards work in port.

“We remain focused on the challenges ahead: performing maintenance on forward-deployed submarines and executing the repair facility turnover with our sister-ship, USS Frank Cable (AS 40),” said Prokopius.

Emory S. Land is a forward-deployed expeditionary submarine tender conducting coordinated tended moorings and afloat maintenance in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation.