US Navy attack submarine returns from patrol

USS Topeka (SSN 754) during the liberty visit to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. Photo: US Navy

USS Topeka (SSN 754), the U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class attack submarine, returned to its homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam, after completing routine patrols throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The submarine’s forward-operating period to the western Pacific concluded on January 28 when the submarine docked in Guam.

Topeka, under the command of Cmdr. Steven Tarr III, operated in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility where the crew executed the chief of naval operations’ maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

“As a submariner, Guam is the ultimate duty station,” said Tarr. “There are so many great things about the people in the local community, as well as those who are here with the military — our warm homecoming today is just one example. I also have the best crew in the Submarine Force, hands down. They impress me on a daily basis with their commitment and perseverance.”

During her deployment, Topeka had a brief port visit in Yokosuka, Japan.

“I love the opportunity to visit new places and explore my surroundings,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Deon Rogers. “This was my first time to Yokosuka, but I am already planning on making my own trip back to Japan.”

Topeka celebrated the various achievements of its crew members in their professional development.

“We had nine sailors become submarine qualified, nine crew members frocked, and one officer promoted,” said Master Chief Electronics Technician Matthew Schecter, Topeka’s chief of the boat.

Topeka was commissioned Oct. 21, 1989, and is the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for the city of Topeka, Kansas. It is the fourth “improved” Los Angeles-class submarine. Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Topeka has a crew of approximately 140 sailors.

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