Another U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class submarine visited Japan after her sister boats previously paid three visits to Asian ports in the last couple of months.
USS Olympia (SSN 717) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka May 31 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The series of submarine visits announced by the U.S. Navy in Asia are widely seen as a message to North Korea amid Pyongyang’s continued missile tests.
Prior to Olympia, Los Angeles-class boats USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) and USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) visited ports in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, while the former ballistic missile submarine (now converted to a guided-missile one), Ohio-class submarine USS Michigan visited Busan, South Korea, in April this year.
The U.S. Navy said Olympia’s visit was aimed at improving an already positive alliance between the U.S. and Japan through the crews’ interaction with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
“The Western Pacific deployment is considered the culminating event for a submariner,” said Cmdr. Ben Selph, commanding officer. “Olympia’s crew is truly excited to be able to operate in this theater as well as contribute to the strong regional ties with our allies overseas.”
Commissioned in November 1984 in Newport News Virginia, the USS Olympia is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.