Sailors man the rails as USS Frank Cable (AS 40) returns to Guam, Nov. 8. (U.S. Navy)

NAVAL BASE GUAM - Sailors and civilian mariners of the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) completed a five-month deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of operations Nov. 8, returning to their homeport at Naval Base Guam.

Frank Cable, which departed Guam June 6, provided vital flexibility to the fleet commanders, supporting submarines and surface ships, extending the range and impact of U.S. naval forces in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 7th Fleets.

"With great pride I watched the combined Navy and Military Sealift Command crew of the USS Frank Cable rise to every challenge as they demonstrated the flexibility and capability of a submarine tender," said Capt. Drew St. John, Frank Cable's commanding officer. “Through their dedication and hard work this ship successfully supported the ships and submarines of both the 5th and 7th Fleets, reinforcing more than ever the relevancy of the submarine tender into today's security environment. Their actions ensured our naval combatants were ready to ‘fight tonight.’”

Frank Cable was a persistent presence throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific, where the crew performed more than 10 community service events designed to deepen the crew’s understanding of other cultures and built friendships with people living in host nations.

"As a forward deployed submarine tender, we bring a tremendous capability to the fleet commander", said St. John. "We pride ourselves in our mission, providing critical repairs to forward deployed naval forces. Those we supported are better prepared for mission success."

A first for the ship and crew was pulling into Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, the first U.S. ship to dock since the Vietnam Conflict in 1973.

I was excited to go back!” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nhat Q. Vu, a native of Dong Nai, Vietnam. “To go back to my home and share my culture with my shipmates, my friends, was amazing. I was excited to share what I do in the Navy every day, and the positive impact we can have wherever we go.”