The last of the improved Lost Angeles-class submarines, USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), arrived in Subic Bay Feb. 1 as part of its Western Pacific deployment.
With a crew of approximately 150 Sailors, Cheyenne will be conducting various military exercises for training.
“It is our pleasure to visit Subic Bay. My Sailors and crew have earned this much deserved rest in this great town,” said Cmdr. Noel Gonzalez, Cheyenne’s commanding officer. “We have been out to sea for a while conducting lots of training, becoming proficient at our jobs, and employing the ship as she was designed to be used. My crew looks forward to building good relationships and reinforcing our partnerships in the Philippines.”
Cheyenne is one of the most capable submarines in the U.S. Navy. Its enhanced capabilities include advanced sonar systems and a state of the art engine room. Its sophisticated design and highly trained crew enable Cheyenne to operate globally, ready for any mission.
“We enjoy our job and being out to sea,” Gonzalez added, “but every Sailor will tell you that visiting foreign ports is part of the reason many of us joined the Navy.”
“This visit to Subic Bay is well deserved,” said Chief of the Boat, Electronic Technician Master Chief Michael Hinkle. “We are looking forward to exploring the area and taking part in some community service projects during our time here.”
For crew members like Culinary Specialist Seaman Sheldon Alvarez, this is their first time visiting the Philippines.
“I am looking forward to exploring the area,” said Alvarez. “This is my first port visit ever and I am happy to be here and have the ability to contribute in an area of the world I have never visited before.”
Some of Cheyenne’s Filipino-American Sailors, like Electronics Technician Seaman Teodorico-Dante Tapia, will have an opportunity to connect with their heritage.
“I am really looking forward to finding the food I grew up eating, as well as dishes I’ve never tasted before,” said Tapia. “I can’t wait for some liberty to explore the place my elders still call home. I am an American, but I am a descendant of the Philippines and this is my first chance to see a place I’ve only dreamed of visiting!”
Cheyenne is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Naval Today Staff, February 5, 2013