The USS Chicago (SSN-721), a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, arrived in Subic Bay, Zambales on Monday as part of its Western Pacific deployment. With a crew of approximately 170 crewmembers, the American submarine has been conducting a multitude of missions to showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.
“It’s an outstanding feeling to see all the hard work the crew invested in maintaining this forward deployed warship rewarded with an outstanding port of call,” USS Chicago commanding officer Cmdr. Lance Thompson said.
“The crew looks forward to experiencing many of the diverse activities the Philippines has to offer,” he added.
The USS Chicago is the first fast-attack submarine to be built with a vertical launch system.
This allows the U.S. Navy to maintain a constant forward presence capable of strategic action.
“The months leading up to our departure from Guam the crew worked hard to prepare for this underway and have performed well,” Master Chief Machinist’s Mate Jamie Manzoeillo, the chief of the boat aboard Chicago, said.
“We now look forward to the opportunity to be ambassadors of our great nation and enjoy some well-deserved liberty in one of the finest ports in the Pacific,” he added.
For many crew members, this was their first time visiting the Philippines.
The USS Chicago measures more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 7,000 tons when submerged, the former is one of the most advanced submarines in the world.
This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, and strike.
The USS Chicago is homeported in Guam, where it remains in a forward deployed state of readiness.
The ship has finished extensive and continuous maintenance availability, tactical readiness review and recently completed its second mission vital to national security in 2015.