By Lt. j.g. Charles Jamison, USS Chicago Public Affairs Officer
CHANGI, Singapore (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721) arrived in Changi, Singapore March 22 for a visit as part of its Western Pacific deployment.
With a crew of approximately 170 Sailors, Chicago 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," said Cmdr. Lance Thompson, the commanding officer of Chicago. "The crew looks forward to experiencing many of the diverse activities Singapore has to offer."
Chicago is the first fast-attack submarine to be built with a vertical launch system, enabling strike mission capability. This allows the Navy to maintain a constant forward presence capable of strategic attacks.
"In the months leading up to our departure from Guam, the crew worked hard to prepare for this underway and have performed well," said Command Master Chief Richard Marini, the chief of the boat aboard Chicago. "All hands have maximized there time while at sea qualifying senior watch stations and gaining the skill sets needed to be the men-of-wars-man require in support of our mission in undersea warfare. 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."
For many of the crew, this was their first time visiting Singapore.
"I can't wait to get outside and see all the sites and enjoy lots of local food," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Paul Kershaw.
Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 7,000 tons when submerged, Chicago 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.
Chicago is homeported in Guam, where it remains in a forward deployed state of readiness. The boat has finished an extensive continuous maintenance availability, pre-overseas movement certification and just successfully completed its first mission vital to national security in 2015.