Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
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June 23, 2010
USS Emory S. Land makes first port call in two years en route to Diego Garcia
|Click on the image for a high-resolution photo.|
|JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - (June 22, 2010) - Submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) renders honors as she passes the USS Arizona Memorial upon arrival for a port visit at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam June 22. Land is conducting a homeport shift from Bremerton, Wash., to her new homeport of Diego Garcia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW/SCW) Ronald Gutridge / Released.)|
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anna L. Arndt, USS Emory S Land
(PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii) - Following a two-year shipyard availability period and completing the first ever submarine tender hybrid crew conversion, USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Tuesday, June 22. The crew set sail Monday, June 14 from its former homeport of Bremerton, Wash., beginning a two-month, 10,000 mile voyage to the ship's new homeport of Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory.
"The ship looks terrific and has operated very well, and our new hybrid crew has performed exceptionally well, despite having little sailing time together," said Cmdr. Christopher Carter, the ship's executive officer.
While the hybrid crew conversion joins Navy Sailors and with Military Sealift Command (MSC) civil service mariners; unlike typical MSC vessels, Land remains a United States Ship under the command of a U.S. Navy Captain, currently Capt. Edward B. Seal. Land transferred to MSC Feb. 1, 2008.
Carter expanded by saying, "The way the crew has operated the ship during this transit to Pearl is a true testament to the high quality seamanship of our civilian mariners and professionalism of our Sailors. Together we are quickly becoming a formidable team, eager to take our mission forward."
"The ship is in great shape, one would never know she is 30 years old," said Master Chief Hull Technician (SW) Larry Rucker, Command Master Chief. "The crew is very excited about Pearl Harbor being their first port-of-call since 2007, and having the opportunity to experience Oahu's great hospitality, culture and scenery. Though the week long stop in Hawaii will be primarily a working port, the crew will have opportunities to see the sights and enjoy everything Hawaii has to offer," he added.
"I think the crew as a whole is very excited to be pulling into Pearl Harbor," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Shipman, production maintenance assistant. "Many of them have not been to any port out of the continental United States and therefore are looking forward to the experience."
|Click on the image for a high-resolution photo.|
|JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - (June 22, 2010) - Submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam for their first port of call since 2007, June 22. Land is conducting a homeport shift from Bremerton, Wash., to her new homeport of Diego Garcia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW/SCW) Ronald Gutridge / Released.)|
Land's crew has labored countless hours in preparation for this homeport shift voyage. While in port, Land will undergo two major inspections, the first being an Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection certification inspection, administered by the staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
"This comprehensive assessment will evaluate the entire spectrum of the ship's force protection and security programs, thereby ensuring Emory S. Land is fully combat-ready prior to transiting across the Pacific Ocean to Diego Garcia," said Lt. Cmdr Kenneth Teasley, ship's weapons officer.
The second inspection is a Ship Material Assessment and Readiness Testing (SMART), which will be performed by inspectors from Military Sealift Command, with support provided by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.
"SMART inspections are normally conducted following major shipyard period for the purpose of assessing a ship's material condition and fitness for further service," said Andrew Lindey, SMART Coordinator.
"The crew as a whole has worked very hard to get ready for the change of home port," said Shipman. "From preparing their families and personal matters, to preparing their work centers and the ship's requirements for self-protection and safety, many hours of hard work have gone into getting to where we are today - ready to sail into our new homeport and be successful."
One of only two submarine tenders in the Navy's ship inventory, Land will provide expeditionary ship repair and maintenance capabilities to fast-attack and guided missile submarines operating in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility from its forward-base in Diego Garcia.
"The services we will provide are many and varied," said Shipman. "We will be able to repair tended units in our new homeport; along with providing many needed services such as medical and supply. We will also be able to pull into other ports and provide a stable mooring location with power, water and other services to allow Navy assets to visit more locations. This will increase the visibility and use of the U.S. Navy as ambassadors to more countries."
Without the hard work of both the civil service mariners and Sailors, this voyage would not be possible.
"I congratulate the crew for all the hard work, sweat and tears they have put into this hybrid project to make it successful," said Chief Interior Communications Specialist Cody Owings. "It's always nice to say that we were the first to do it, and make it work. We have worked our tails off to get to this point, and it's very rewarding to see our hard work pay off."
Diego Garcia is a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean approximately 1,000 miles south of the southern coast of India and is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Because of the island's isolated location, Diego Garcia is designated a dependent-restricted assignment by the Department of the Navy, thereby limiting tours for Sailors to twelve months.
While operating from this remote outpost, the crew is very much looking forward to opportunities of taking its submarine and ship maintenance capabilities to new ports-of-call.
Emory S. Land is assigned to Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
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