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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) departed Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam March 4, amidst farewells from family and friends, for a deployment to the Western Pacific region.
La Jolla's commanding officer, Cmdr. Kevin Roach, said the submarine and her crew are excited and ready to set sail.
"I am honored to be leading this formidable ship and this outstanding crew," said Roach. "La Jolla is in outstanding material condition thanks to the hard work of the crew, the Fleet Maintenance Submarine Department, and the shipyard maintenance team."
La Jolla is scheduled to conduct a standard deployment to the Western Pacific area of operations in support of the commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet.
"We are a learning organization, so our goals rarely change. They all center on perfecting our craft as submarine warriors," said Roach.
La Jolla deploys with 140 Sailors, many of them on their first deployment.
For Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Ling Lin, a first-time deployment brings a sense of adventure as well as stress of a new challenge.
"This is for real, all real, and there is nothing to stop it," joked Lin. "But I am looking forward to the liberty ports and getting my qualifications."
Roach said that of all the people who have helped them get to this point, the ones who deserve the most humble thanks are the families that support them when they are ashore or at sea.
"Our families provide us that sense of purpose that keeps us motivated and sharp during our deployments," added Roach.
USS La Jolla is named for La Jolla, Calif., and is the first warship named after this township. Commissioned Oct. 24, 1981, La Jolla is the 14th ship of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarines. The submarine is 360-feet long, displaces 6,900 tons and can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 ADCAP anti-submarine torpedoes and Tomahawk guided cruise missiles.