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USS Olympia Approaches "Hump Day"

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS030724-07

Release Date: 7/25/2003

From USS Olympia Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Prior to its Western Pacific deployment, USS Olympia (SSN 717) completed a six-month pre-overseas movement (POM) work-up period.

POM is an intense training and maintenance period dedicated to elevating readiness to support deployment to the Western Pacific.

During this period, Olympia's crew demonstrated excellence in tactics, weapons handling, communications, navigation, propulsion plant operations, and logistics.

As a result of the crew's hard work, Olympia earned the Battle Efficiency "E" award. Furthermore, the high state of pride in service aboard Olympia resulted in her being awarded the Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award.

Upon arrival in 7th Fleet, Olympia joined Exercise Tandem Thrust, a tri-service exercise in the Western Pacific, in the vicinity of the Northern Marianas Islands.

Olympia successfully engaged opposition force submarines and earned the nickname "Silent Spear," by exhibiting tactical superiority during operations with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Strike Group.

According to Cmdr. Paul Marconi, Olympia's commanding officer, the exercise provided excellent training.

"Exercise Tandem Thrust was a complete success and was particularly significant because it demonstrated our armed forces' ability to muster naval, air and land forces in another remote area of the world concurrently with Operation Iraqi Freedom. This sent a powerful message to those who might think they could take advantage of us being engaged in the Northern Arabian Gulf."

After port visits to Saipan and Sasebo, Japan, Olympia transited to Chinhae, Republic of Korea (ROK), for a seven-day port visit. During the visit, Olympia hosted tours for several ROK Navy dignitaries.

"The crew really enjoyed strolling through the open air fish markets, and buying souvenirs for friends and family back home. The shopping opportunities in South Korea were fantastic," said Electricians Mate 1st Class Timothy Johnson.

Olympia's crew greatly appreciated the hospitality of the ROK submariners, who proved to be gracious hosts and a highly professional group. Marconi commented that every ROK Navy official he met expressed their gratitude for Olympia's presence, and emphasized that our alliance guaranteed their freedom.

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