YOKOSUKA, Japan - The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka May 31 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The visit strengthens the already positive alliance between the U.S. and Japan through the crews’ interaction with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. It also demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s commitment to regional stability and maritime security in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
“The Western Pacific deployment is considered the culminating event for a submariner,” said Cmdr. Ben Selph, commanding officer. “Olympia’s crew is truly excited to be able to operate in this theater as well as contribute to the strong regional ties with our allies overseas.”
Olympia is a multi-mission capable platform with a wide range of applications. This submarine is capable of executing anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare.
“The Sailors of Olympia have executed the long task of honing their skills and readying the submarine for a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific,” said Master Chief Electronics Technician (Navigation) Roland Midgett, chief of the boat. “Since our last deployment, the crew has changed out quite a bit and has many Sailors deploying away from homeport for their very first time. The excitement of visiting a country surrounded with unique traditions and so much history makes Japan a magnificent place to visit. We are grateful to have this opportunity to learn more and explore some of what Japan has to offer as well as strengthen the military relationship between our countries.”
Many crewmembers are excited to experience the rich culture of Japan.
“I’m really excited to see a new culture for the first time and experience what it’s like to be in another country,” said Fire Control Technician Seaman Brandon Russo.
Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6,900 tons when submerged, Olympia is one of the most capable submarines in the world. Named for the capital city of Washington, Olympia was commissioned November 1984 in Newport News Virginia. Olympia is currently homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.