AGANA, Guam - Sailors from Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 15 units and the Navy's Expeditionary Forces Command Pacific joined the local community and other branches of service to celebrate Guam’s 75th Liberation Day with a parade, July 21.
The island of Guam, along with the rest of the Marianas Islands, were liberated by the Third Marine Division (3rd MarDiv) and U.S. Army's 77th Infantry Division on July 21, 1944.
CSS-15 Sailors marched alongside the command’s submarine float while handing out candy to children watching the parade on Sunday.
Seabees assigned to 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, NMCB 4, and Commander, Navy Expeditionary Forces Command Pacific, participated alongside residents of their sister village, Barrigada, in a parade float they build together.
“This day has been an excellent opportunity for the military and civilian communities to come together in celebration and remembrance,” said Capt. Timothy Poe, CSS-15's commander. “CSS-15 is grateful to the people of Guam, and our sister village of Inarajan, for welcoming us into their family.”
“The Seabees history in Guam is rich starting from the original Liberation Day until now,” said Capt. Steve Stasick, commanding officer of 30th NCR. “It has been an honor working alongside the citizens of Barrigada and I look forward to working with them in the future.”
In 1944, during the three-week battle for Guam, the Seabees landed alongside the Marines and contributed to the fight by unloading ships and performing vital construction in support of combat operations. Their efforts led to the construction of the advanced headquarters for the United States Pacific Fleet, an airbase for B-29 bombers, and a depot center for war supply. Seabees were also the driving force behind the construction of Marine Corps Drive and still maintain a strong presence on the island.
To carry on the legacy, the citizens of Barrigada and Seabees were paired together for the parade due to Guam’s sister village program. 30 NCR and Barrigada have worked together on several projects benefiting the residents of Barrigada and the Seabees stationed on Guam because of this program.
“We are very proud to have worked alongside our sister squadron who helped make our float a success this year,” said June Blas, the mayor of the Barrigada. “It was a really fun time, because this team of Seabees were very hands on, and got dirty and sweated alongside us locals to build the float. The parade really showcased the good community relationship Barrigada has with the military still, even with all the time that has passed.”
The 75th commemoration of the Marines landing on Guam included food, music, dancing, special observances and a four-hour parade down Marine Corps Drive featuring more than 90 floats and marching units.
The island’s military commands showed their commitment to the Liberation Day parade theme of “A legacy of peace and friendship” and showed up in force to participate in the day’s festivities.
“The Sailors always enjoy participating in events like this,” said Poe. “It allows them to create lasting relationships with the civilian community.”
During the parade, multiple CSS-15 Sailors supported their sister village of Inarajan by riding in the village float. Cmdr. David Cox, the deputy commander for CSS-15, joined the mayor of Inarajan in the float as a representation of commitment and friendship between the village and submarine squadron.
“Today is just another example of the support and friendship that we receive from the Sailors,” said Doris Lujan, the mayor of Inarajan. “I’m continually grateful for the support and assistance they provide to our island and ultimately the village of Inarajan.”
Following the parade, Sailors from CSS-15 joined other organizations and commands from around the island in hosting a cook out along the parade route.
CSS-15 is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Santa Rita, Guam, and includes four Los Angeles-class attack submarines.
The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support to these commands. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable and USS Emory S. Land.
The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are capable of meeting global operational requirements.
As Commander Task Group 75.5, 30 NCR provides command and control over all naval construction force units in the 7th Fleet area of operations. 30 NCR enables the real-time mobility of response for engineering units and other assigned forces to provide expeditionary, general and limited combat engineer capability to respond to major combat operations and contingencies, conduct theater security cooperation plan operations, and execute humanitarian assistance disaster response (HA/DR) and civil-military operations within the Pacific.