By Lt. Cmdr. Lara Bollinger, Submarine Group 7 Public Affairs
SUBIC BAY, Republic of the Philippines – The Ohio class submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) arrived at Subic Bay March 22 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific. With its crew of approximately 150, Ohio is conducting missions and showcasing the latest capabilities of the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet during this deployment.
“We are very excited to visit the Subic Bay area,” said Capt. Rod Mills, commanding officer for the Ohio Gold crew. “Our visit is one of the many ways that our militaries work together to enhance regional security and to continue the long-standing relationship between the Philippines and the U.S.”
“This visit to Subic Bay provides our crew the opportunity to represent the best that America has to offer to the community of Olongapo and the Republic of the Philippines,” said Command Master Chief Neil Davenport, Ohio Gold’s chief of the boat. “My crew is very excited about the opportunity to interact with the community during several scheduled community service projects in Zambales and at the Ninos Pag-Asa Orphanage. We are happy to be here, and look forward to enjoying some well deserved liberty.”
For many of Ohio’s crew members, this is their first time visiting the Philippines.
“During this visit I plan on checking out one of the tours,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Kurt Paneczko. “In my experience, tours are the best way to maximize our experience in a new place. I would love to feed the tigers [at Zoobic Safari] like everyone is talking about along with getting a few souvenirs to bring home with me.”
Ohio was originally the first Trident strategic ballistic missile submarine, but underwent an extensive conversion beginning in 2002 to become the first U.S. guided missile and special warfare submarine in 2006. Homeported in Bangor, Wa., Ohio is currently forward deployed out of Guam.