YOKOSUKA, Japan –
The Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) arrived in Yokosuka June 8 for a routine visit as part of its second deployment to the Western Pacific.
With a crew of about 140, North Carolina will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.
"The crew of the North Carolina is honored to be guests in Japan and is looking forward to enjoying some liberty," said Cmdr. Richard Rhinehart, North Carolina's commanding officer. "It has been very professionally rewarding for the crew to be deployed to the Asia-Pacific region working closely with other forward deployed U.S. Navy units and those of our regional partners such as Japan."
North Carolina is the fourth submarine in the Virginia-class, the Navy's newest class of submarine and the first ship designed for the post Cold-War environment. It is designed to operate with stealth, agility and endurance in the world's littoral regions, as well as the deep oceans. Designed to accomplish a wide variety of missions as required per its operational commanders, the crew spent the previous six-months operating in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The crew of the North Carolina has overcome numerous obstacles during the deployment and has maintained an exceptional attitude throughout," Said Chief of the Boat, Command Master Chief Petty Officer J.R. O'Donnell. "They have been eagerly waiting this visit to Yokosuka, Japan."
For many of the crew members, this is not only their first deployment, but also their first time visiting Japan. For those that have been here before, it is a welcome return.
"I have been eagerly looking forward to seeing Japan again since I left Okinawa in 2008," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Benjamin Kramer, ship's corpsman. "The culture and people are always welcoming and the food is exceptional."
Measuring more than 350 feet long and weighing more than 7,800 tons when submerged, North Carolina is one of the stealthiest and most advanced submarines in the world. North Carolina brings to the region the capability to conduct the full spectrum of potential submarine missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and mine warfare.
North Carolina is home ported Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and was commissioned in 2008. This is the boat's second deployment to the Western Pacific.
For the latest on USS North Carolina and submarine operations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, follow Submarine Group 7 at www.facebook.com/submarinegroup7 or www.csg7.navy.mil.