A US submarine arrived on Thursday at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) for a routine port visit during its deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
Ensign James Gloria, public affairs officer of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698), said a number of the sailors aboard have family from the Philippines and will have the chance to better connect with their heritage.
Gloria said the visit of Bremerton highlights the strong partnership between the United States and the Philippines while it gives the crew an opportunity to meet families and the local community living in the Subic area.
“It really means a lot to me that I get the chance to visit a number of my family members again,” Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Gapasin, who lived in the Philippines for six years and has relatives in the area, said.
Cmdr. Travis Zettel, commanding officer, said Bremerton has a crew of 150 sailors who regularly conduct a variety of missions to maintain proficiency in the latest submarine fleet capabilities.
Bremerton’s stealth, mobility, endurance and firepower allow it to work independently or in conjunction with a carrier strike group.
Zettel said this was Bremerton’s ninth and final visit to Subic Bay.
“My crew and I are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the local community while simultaneously preparing the ship for the remainder of our deployment,” he said.
Bremerton measures more than 300 feet long and weighs more than 6,000 tons when submerged. It is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and mine warfare.
Later this year, Bremerton will move to its namesake city, Bremerton, Washington, where it will be decommissioned after nearly 40 years of naval service.