By Lt. Luis Luy, USS Houston Public Affairs
SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Houston (SSN 713) arrived in Singapore July 15 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.
With a crew of approximately 142, Houston will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.
"Being in Singapore and part of a bilateral exercise with the Republic of Singapore Navy is a great opportunity," said Cmdr. Scott McGinnis, Houston's commanding officer. "Singapore and Houston have a long history together; during World War II, Sailors from the heavy cruiser Houston (CA-30), after fighting in the Java sea were brought to Singapore for three months as prisoners of war. It is an honor to return here in memorial to their sacrifices.
"The crew is excited about the engagement during CARAT [Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training] Singapore and proud to be a part of the strong relationship between the Republic of Singapore and the United States."
Houston is equipped with four torpedo tubes, two countermeasure tubes and the ability to deploy and operate around the globe. Houston's design and crew spirit has earned recognition for being one of the fastest and fiercest vessels in the Pacific.
"Since departing Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, mighty warship Houston and her crew have been deployed to the 7th Fleet AOR demonstrating both the professionalism and perseverance that it takes to be a successful Western Pacific asset," said Senior Chief Sonar Technician Paul McCrory, the chief of the boat aboard Houston. "Their pride is displayed daily by continuing our storied history in the United States Navy and the Pacific Fleet with challenging operations and successful port calls. This deployment will culminate 33 years of dedication to the silent service. My crew is looking forward to our port visit in Singapore. We look forward to strengthening our bond and sharing our experiences with our Singaporean counterparts. We are also excited and grateful for the hospitality and the opportunity to experience Singapore's culture and all that Singapore has to offer, especially to our many young Sailors who are visiting for the first time."
For some of the crew, this is their first time visiting Singapore.
"I am quite excited about visiting Singapore since I hear that it offers a great variety of stores, in addition to an enhanced quality of life," said Electronics Technician Seaman Juanya Whittaker. "In particular, I am looking forward to exploring their computer stores and culture as a whole. I expect to purchase a few memorable items to send back home since this is my first time. Nonetheless, I will definitely ride on their famous Ferris wheel. Lastly, I look forward to being a tourist and experiencing all that Singapore has to offer."
Measuring 360 feet long and displacing 6,900 tons when submerged, Houston is one of the stealthiest submarines in the world. This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, intelligence, and surveillance and reconnaissance.
Houston is homeported out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and is the fourth U.S. Navy vessel to be named after the city of Houston, Texas. In commemoration of the heavy weight cruiser USS Houston (CA 30), most commonly known as the Ghost of the Java Coast, which was lost in the Battle of the Java Sea, Houston (SSN 713) was commissioned on Sept. 25, 1982 and has starred in deployments, exercises and the famous submarine movie, The Hunt for Red October. Houston is the 132nd nuclear-powered submarine and the 20th of the Los Angeles class.