By Lt. j.g. David Oh, USS Key West Public Affairs
SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722) arrived in Subic Bay for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific, Nov. 4.
"I'm incredibly proud of the crew and what we've accomplished over the past couple of months," said Cmdr. John Thompson, Key West's commanding officer. "Their hard work to prepare for deployment was validated through a very successful execution. Now we have a new mission at hand - to represent the United States while enjoying the sights and experiences that the Philippines has to offer."
Master Chief Electronics Technician Eric Baker, chief of the boat aboard Key West, expressed similar sentiments.
"This has been a very busy year for Key West and these men have worked very hard," said Baker. "They are ready for this well-deserved port visit after a successful deployment and are eager to explore and take in the culture and sights of Subic Bay."
After more than a month at sea, the crew of Key West was very much looking forward to its first stop in Subic Bay.
Electronics Technician 3rd Class Zachary Cenit looked forward to reconnect with his family.
"I haven't seen my relatives in four years," said Cenit. "I can't wait to see them and eat and celebrate together."
Other Sailors, such as Electronics Technician 1st Class Joel Ignalla were just eager to return home.
"I was raised in San Pedro Laguna until I was 14," said Ignalla. "For me, the Philippines represent my childhood."
"I've heard a lot of great things about Subic Bay," said Sonar Technician 1st Class Robert Hatton. "I'm excited for the diving, especially the wrecks regarding our shared history between the United States and the Philippines."
A second-flight 688 submarine, Key West is outfitted with four MK 67 torpedo tubes and 12 Tomahawk cruise missile vertical launch tubes. The 360-foot, 6,900-ton vessel remains one of the stealthiest, most formidable submarines in the world. Key West is able to conduct anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.