In this file photo, submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) transits through Apra Harbor July 23, 2010, after a port visit to Naval Base (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha A. Crosson)

GOA, India (NNS) - Submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) arrived in Goa, India, April 22 as part of the U.S. Navy's theater cooperation and good will mission.

While in Goa, Emory S. Land will provide support services to USS La Jolla (SSN 701), a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, which will be moored outboard the tender.

"We will be providing tended support services to La Jolla to ensure all systems are fully operational and capable when she returns to operations," said Lt. Cmdr. Tobias Lemerande, Emory S. Land's repair officer.

The submarine tender's Repair Department will perform minor equipment adjustments, as well as manufacture and provide some quality of life items to the crew's eating and living spaces that will help make the Sailors' lives more comfortable.

"Our visit will not be all work and no relaxation," said Emory S. Land Command Master Chief Paul Sweeney. "The crew will be participating in community relation projects and participating in sight seeing tours and activities."

Crew members will participate in a tree planting project as well as a basketball game with a local club team. The tender will also be providing a limited number of tours and will be hosting a reception.

"We are very excited to be here in Goa," said Capt. Eric Merrill, Emory S. Land's commanding officer. "Our crew is honored to have the opportunity to visit Goa and further strengthen our partnership between our two navies and governments."

Emory S. Land's crew looks forward to taking part in community activities and experiencing India's cultural sights. For many, this is their first time visiting India.

"I'm enormously excited to experience a different culture, potentially riding elephants, and participating in community relations projects," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class John Dunn, from Emory S. Land's Security Department.

Emory S. Land's mission is to provide intermediate level expeditionary maintenance and repairs and logistical services to submarines and surface ships operating in the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

In early 2010, the submarine tender completed its conversion from an all U.S. Navy Sailor crew to an integrated crew of Sailors and civilian mariners, becoming the first submarine tender to operate under this hybrid crew concept.

"The crew, Sailors and civilian mariners alike, are extremely professional in operating this nearly 32 year old ship as one team," said Sweeney. "While there are some cultural differences in operations between Sailors and civilian mariners, the integrated crew has brought efficiency in operations and manpower. I'm very proud of them."

Less than a year ago, Emory S. Land changed home ports from Bremerton, Wash., to the archipelago island of Diego Garcia. Emory S. Land is the only permanently homeported naval ship in Diego Garcia.

The submarine tender was commissioned July 7, 1979, and was named after Vice Adm. Emory S. Land, who helped pioneer American submarine design and development of submarines that formed the backbone of the U.S. submarine fleet in World War II. Land also served as chairman of the U.S. Maritime Commission in the late 1930s and early 1940s where he rehabilitated America's merchant fleet.

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