Aug. 17 (UPI) — The submarine tender USS Emory S. Land arrived in California Monday for maintenance after a nearly eight-month deployment with the U.S. 7th Fleet.
The ship will spend 150 days in port at Mare Island Dry Dock in Vallejo, Calif., for a regular overhaul through an awarded contract of $ 33.5 million, the Navy said.
It arrived several hours late on Monday, but was welcomed by several hundred people waiting at the waterfront while temperatures hovered in triple digits, with occasional rain.
“I hope everyone gets a much needed break, back stateside with their families,” Spec. 3rd Class Karinna Hampton, one of about 300 sailors, with about 150 civilian maritime workers, aboard the 649-foot long ship, said in a Navy statement.
“I think of how small we are compared to the ship when I see it. I think of all the protection the United States gets,” observer Ricardo Martinez told the Times-Herald after the 649-foot long ship arrived, with about 300 sailors and about 150 civilian maritime workers aboard.
“Then I see the ship and I say, ‘This is the definition of U.S. protection in America,'” Martinez said.
The ship departed Guam, and completed a 14-day sequester period to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, before arriving in California.
In 2019 and 2020 is was deployed to the Indo-Pacific theater of operations, and visited seven allied countries for training and repair missions.
“Our deployment was a huge success,” said Capt. Michael Luckett, the ship’s commanding officer. “We demonstrated our ability to conduct vital evolutions with our partners.”
The USS Emory S. Land is one of two submarine tenders in the Navy.
The ship, and the USS Frank Cable, are both normally stationed in Guam. They provide maintenance, logistic support and other services to the Navy’s forward-deployed submarine fleet.