HMAS Stirling welcomes USS Jacksonville

This article has photo gallery Published on ENS Nicholas Lucania (author), Mr Andrew Bujdegan (author), CPOIS David Connolly (photographer)

The United States Navy's Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) prepares to berth at Fleet Base West at Garden Island, Western Australia, on 25 June as part of its Western Pacific deployment. (photo: CPOIS David Connolly)
The United States Navy's Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) prepares to berth at Fleet Base West at Garden Island, Western Australia, on 25 June as part of its Western Pacific deployment.

Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) arrived at HMAS Stirling last week, for a port visit as a part of its Western Pacific deployment. 

Jacksonville was welcomed by Commanding Officer Stirling Captain Angela Bond, Stirling ship's company, and families and friends of the submarine crew, some who travelled from across the globe.

For many of the Jacksonville crew, this visit is their first time in Australia. The crew said they were looking forward to liaising with their Royal Australia Navy colleagues and undertaking community service projects and other planned activities.

During their stay, the crew of host boat, HMAS Rankin, have also challenged the crew of Jacksonville to partake in a variety of sporting activities, as well as involvement in a traditional Aussie BBQ or two.  

"I am really looking forward to spending time in Australia," Jacksonville's Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Beck said. 

"I have never been south of the equator before and I can't wait to visit the surrounding cities, catch a game of footy and see a kangaroo." 

Master Chief Electronics Technician Kevin Rollert, the chief of the boat onboard Jacksonville said the crew continued to push themselves hard during deployment knowing they had a respite stop in Western Australia at the end. 

"We are fortunate to be visiting another outstanding port call. This is a great opportunity for the crew to relax and enjoy the sights," he said. 

Throughout their 2015 Western Pacific deployment, Jacksonville's crew of 144 sailors will conduct a variety of missions and participate in several joint exercises focused on enhancing international maritime operations.