The Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived at HMAS Stirling April 22 for a visit as part of its deployment to the western Pacific.
With a crew of approximately 155, Michigan will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the fleet.
“We on Michigan are excited to be here in western Australia both to work with our Australian military partners and to explor and meet people in the Perth area,” said Capt. Robert V. James, commanding officer.
Michigan is capable of supporting missions that include anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, strike, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and naval special warfare utilizing special operations forces.
“Michigan’s crew has worked very hard through our demanding schedule,” said chief of the boat Bill Mast. “I am proud of their accomplishments over the past few months and we are looking forward to a well earned rest. Perth is a once in a career liberty port that every Submariner dreams of and I, for one, will be enjoying everything Australia has to offer.”
For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting western Australia.
“I am very excited to visit Australia,” said Fire Control Technician (Submarines) 3rd class Ernesto Longoria. “This is a great opportunity and I am lucky to say I have experienced this. I can not wait to explore this new culture and I’m sure we’ll all have a good time here.”
Measuring more than 560 feet long and weighing more than 18,800 tons when submerged, Michigan dominates the undersea battlespace with a combination of Tomahawk cruise missiles, special forces capabilities, and heavy weight torpedoes.
Michigan is homeported in Bangor, Washington yet will spend 13 of its 20 or more remaining operational years forward deployed. This is an achievement made possible by leveraging the existing Trident maintenance and training infrastructure that has proven effective over the past 30 years.
Naval Today Staff, April 24, 2012; Image: navy