Official U.S. Navy file photo of Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724). (Photo by MC2 Brian G. Reynolds)
CHANGWON, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) arrived at U.S. Fleet Activities Chinhae for a routine port visit as part of its deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, Dec. 8.
With a crew of 131, Louisville will conduct a multitude of missions and maintain proficiencies of the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.
"Our highly-trained crew is proficient in all core mission capabilities, from anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface ship warfare to intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and precision strike," said Cmdr. David Cox, commanding officer. "This deployment is of special significance, as we recently observed Louisville's 30th birthday."
Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons, even after 30 years Louisville is still one of the stealthiest and most modern attack submarines in the world. Its stealth, mobility, endurance, and firepower allow this covert, multi-mission platform to operate independently or in conjunction with a carrier strike group to support national security interest wherever and whenever needed.
"Each and every member of our crew has devoted a lot of time, hard work, and energy towards preparing themselves and Louisville for this deployment," said Master Chief Petty Officer Larry Williams, chief of the boat. "It is only because of the Sailors that we are successful as a team. I am excited for the crew to be able to do what a lot of them have joined the Navy to do -- see overseas countries and represent the U.S. Navy well."
For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Changwon.
"I've heard lots of exciting things about Korea's long history and interesting culture," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Dias. "More than anything, I'm looking forward to enjoying some fresh seafood and going skiing -- two of my favorite activities back home."
Previous deployments have earned Louisville numerous decorations and a place in submarine history. In 1991, Louisville supported Operation Desert Storm by travelling more than 14,000 miles to be the first submarine to launch Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles in time of war. In 2003, Louisville returned to the Red Sea to support Operation Iraqi Freedom with another successful Tomahawk strike. Louisville remains one of only two submarines to have executed Tomahawk strikes in two separate conflicts.
Louisville is the fourth United States ship to be named for Louisville, Kentucky. Commissioned Nov. 8, 1986, at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, Louisville is the 35th nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Los Angeles class. Louisville is currently home ported at Hawaii's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.