FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan –
The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka Nov. 20 for a visit as part of its on-going deployment to the Western Pacific.
"It seems appropriate that days before our own Thanksgiving holiday, I extend our sincerest thanks to our host nation and ally, Japan," said Cmdr. Thomas Shugart, Olympia's commanding officer. "The citizens of Japan are the nicest and most welcoming people, and we are proud to be here."
Olympia continues to conduct a multitude of missions while showcasing the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.
"We understand the important role we play in protecting the trade routes of the Western Pacific, providing credible defense against any hostile maritime forces and projecting power from the sea to the shore when needed," said Shugart.
"It is a great opportunity to be the Chief of the Boat for the crew of this incredible ship and to experience visits to such amazing host nations as this one," said Master Chief Electronics Technician Roland Midgett. "The crew has continued to work aggressively; incorporating new and innovative technologies to maintain dominance throughout the maritime battle space, and are well-deserving of a short break from the task at-hand."
Several of Olympia's sailors are brand new to Western Pacific deployments.
Culinary Specialist Seaman Casslee Farmer checked aboard only a month ago. This is his first Navy assignment, bringing with it both excitement and anxiety, while he adjusts to underway life.
Regarding his expectations for Yokosuka, Farmer said, "My first opportunity to get out [into Japan] and taste the food. Which I can't wait to do. On board the days go by quick. We eat, work, study, sleep, and the best thing to do is look forward to port visits."
Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing 7,000 tons, Olympia is the 29th Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine. The ship is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.