By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian G. Reynolds, Fleet Activities Yokosuka Public Affairs
FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) welcomed First Lady Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a tour of the submarine Feb. 12.
The tour was conducted to reinforce the strategic alliance that exists between the U.S. and Japan, highlighting U.S. 7th Fleet's partnership with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
"I think this was a great opportunity for Mrs. Abe to gain an appreciation for what we bring to the alliance in terms of capabilities - both material and personnel," said Cmdr. Thomas Shugart, commanding officer of Olympia.
Abe was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.
"It was a great honor to have the wife of the prime minister, as well as Caroline Kennedy, who is a terrific representative of our country," said Lt. j.g. Erik Edwards, supply officer aboard Olympia. "Our two countries are close allies and it's an honor to be a part of these two countries working so closely together."
Sailors aboard Olympia were excited to show off what they do every day to ensure peace and stability in the region. The tour highlighted Olympia's torpedo facilities and control center.
"It's very exciting to be able to show off the hard work that we do here and for them to see our day-to-day activities," said Electronics Technician Seaman Alexander Pearce. "We take a lot of pride here."
Olympia visited Yokosuka as a regularly-scheduled port visit as a part of its Western Pacific deployment.
Olympia is a multi-mission platform submarine, capable of supporting anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operation forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare.