USS Topeka (SSN 754) comes alongside submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) in Guam in May 2012. (U.S. Navy file photo/MC1 David R. Krigbaum)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The U.S. Navy announced today that the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) will change homeports and move to Naval Base Guam.

As part of the U.S. Navy's long range plan to put the most advanced and capable units forward, Topeka will move to Guam upon completion of her Engineered Overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY), Portsmouth, N.H.

In April 2013, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that a fourth Los Angeles-class submarine would be postured in Guam in an effort to enhance the Navy's forward presence as it continues to reposture its forces toward the Pacific. The decision to homeport Topeka in Guam brings that vision to fruition.

Topeka and its crew of approximately 15 officers and 155 enlisted Sailors arrived at PNSY Dec. 16, 2012, from San Diego. While at the shipyard, Topeka underwent a major availability consisting of various maintenance projects and system upgrades making her the most updated and capable ship of the class.

Topeka, commissioned Oct. 21, 1989, is the third ship of the United States Navy named for the city of Topeka and is the fourth "improved" Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine. The improved modifications of this class include retractable bow planes, a reinforced sail for under ice operations, vertical launch Tomahawk Cruise Missile capability, ship quieting enhancements, and an integrated combat systems suite.

Topeka's last Western Pacific deployment was from March through September 2012 in support of the Chief of Naval Operations' Maritime Strategy, which includes maritime security, forward presence, sea control, and power projection. During the deployment, Topeka covered more than 35,000 nautical miles and executed missions vital to national security.

The security environment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific requires that the U.S. Navy station the most capable ships forward. This posture allows the most rapid response times possible for maritime and joint forces, and brings our most capable ships and submarines with the greatest amount of striking power and operational capability to bear in the timeliest manner.