The San Diego based Los Angeles-class, fast attack submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767) arrived at Subic Bay, Philippines, Sept. 6 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.
With a crew of 135, Hampton will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet during its time in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
“The crew of Hampton is very excited about visiting Subic Bay,” said Cmdr. Lincoln Reifsteck, commanding officer of the Hampton. “The majority of my crew has never been to the Philippines, but has heard a lot of great stories about the city and country from family and friends. We are also proud to be moored next to the USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) and look forward to working with their team of professionals during our time in port.”
For two Hampton crew members, this port visit marks a homecoming. Logistics Specialist 1st Class Raynoel Pena and Culinary Specialist Seaman Recruit Joselito Manuel were born and lived in the Philippines for some time before joining the Navy.
Manuel grew up near Manila before moving to San Diego at age ten. He has not had an opportunity to return to the country since then.
“I am excited to have my grandmother, aunt and some of my cousins come to visit me on my 20th birthday, while we are in port,” said Manuel. “I have only been able to see this part of my family through video chat and am thankful the Navy has given me the opportunity to return to my home county.”
Pena also grew up near Manila and moved to Hawaii at age nine. His father’s family was from Olongapo City and he is looking forward to going back the Philippines with Hampton.
“I haven’t been back to the Philippines since my last ship, the USS Peleliu (LHA-5), pulled into Subic Bay in 2010,” said Pena. “It is always nice to see family when I return and I’m glad the Navy has given me that opportunity several times.”
Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6000 tons when submerged, Hampton is one of the most complex submarines in the world. This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Press Release, September 10, 2013; Image: Navy