Family and friends gathered May 6 at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to welcome home Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) from a deployment to the Western Pacific region.
“This is my final underway in command and I cannot be prouder than to sail with the dedicated warriors that comprise my crew,” said Cmdr. Chris Buziak, City of Corpus Christi’s commanding officer. “Their positive attitude, tremendous commitment, and overwhelming professionalism are a testament for why they are representative of the best young Americans they are today.”
Buziak said despite half of the crew being on their first deployment, they consistently demonstrated the flexibility to meet numerous unique tasks with great enthusiasm as they supported the operational commander’s priorities.
The crew’s efforts also directly enhanced relationships with key regional allies through community relations projects in Guam and Yokosuka, Japan.
In addition to gaining the experience of operating in the Western Pacific, the deployment afforded Sailors the opportunity to work on qualifications.
Twenty-two Sailors became submarine qualified and are now entitled to wear the enlisted submarine warfare insignia. In addition, more than 100 watch stations were also qualified.
This was the submarine’s first deployment since changing home ports from Guam in 2011 and completing a 14-month maintenance availability period at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.
“The crew handled themselves in the utmost tradition of honor, courage, and commitment while conducting extended operations in the Western Pacific region supporting both national tasking and fleet theater anti-submarine warfare requirements,” added Buziak.
City of Corpus Christi returned home to an excited crowd of family and friends on the pier. Many showed off signs and banners to welcome back crew members.
For spouse Shelbie McClain, having her husband, Sonar Technician 3rd Class Brandon McClain, back home after a long deployment meant they could take that long-awaited trip together.
“I’m just really that glad he’s home and I’m looking forward to spending time with him and going on a vacation back home to California and Washington!” said Shelbie.
City of Corpus Christi is the second ship to be named after the Texas city, and is capable of conducting both anti-surface and anti-submarine operations along with guided-missile strike operations using conventional Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.
Press Release, May 7, 2014; Image: Wikimedia