By Lt. Raymont Ahaus, USS Houston Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Houston (SSN 713) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka May 8 for a visit as a part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.
With a crew of approximately 140, Houston will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.
"Warship Houston is poised and excited to enter in theater and provide the stability offered by our forward presence in the region," said Cmdr. Scott McGinnis, Houston's commanding officer. "We have trained long and hard to have this opportunity and we are ready to meet the demands of the operational commander. The name Houston has a proud legacy and heritage of excellence in the Western Pacific and we intend to continue this tradition."
Houston was originally designed to be a high-speed submarine escort for aircraft carrier strike groups and task forces. As an extremely versatile platform, Houston supports numerous national military objectives. Through rigorous training and exercises, she maintains the ability to carry the fight to potential enemies at sea or on land.
"Houston has overcome many obstacles and put in enormous effort to kick this deployment off," said Senior Chief Sonar Technician (Submarines) (SS) Paul McCrory, Houston's chief of the boat. "Stopping in Yokosuka will allow some well-deserved rest for the entire crew."
For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Japan.
"I have only heard stories about how awesome Yokosuka is," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class John Rodriquez. "I can't wait to see the beautiful country of Japan and immerse into the culture. I am most excited about getting to a baseball game."
Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 8,000 tons when submerged, Houston is one of the largest and stealthiest submarines in the world. Houston is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare.
Houston is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and will be conducting its final deployment following more than 30 years of service in the U.S. Navy.