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Submarine Group 7 Praises Guam Sailors

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS051027-17
Release Date: 10/27/2005 2:14:00 PM

By Lt. Kevin Barnett, Submarine Squadron 15 Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- The commander of Submarine Group 7 praised Sailors stationed on Guam for their dedication to duty during a visit to the island Oct. 23.

Rear Adm. John Bird, commander of Submarine Group 7, was on island to visit Submarine Squadron 15 as past of an orientation tour following his recent assumption of command.

“I’m totally impressed with the support being provided to the fleet,” said Bird. “The work each and every Sailor and civilian employee here in Guam – serving at the ‘tip of the spear’ – is vital to our Navy mission in this area of operations. They can all be justifiably proud of what they are doing in defense of freedom and democracy.”

Group 7 is comprised of submarines deployed to the Western Pacific and a permanent, forward-deployed fleet, including the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and two fast-attack nuclear submarines, USS Houston (SSN 713) and USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705). All three vessels are homeported on Guam.

“The operational tempo in the Pacific Submarine Fleet increased substantially during recent years,” Bird explained. “The number of days required to perform missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance has doubled. Assigning fast-attack submarines to Guam significantly increased the number of yearly operation days. The tender and submarines are my workhorses.”

Bird emphasized the important role the region will continue to play in fulfilling the Navy’s mission and sustaining the nation’s defense.

“The strategic location of Guam and Marianas is important to the United States as ever,” said Bird, who also serves as commander, Task Force 74 under the charge of commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “The region provides the most effective operations, logistics and training to the U.S. and its allied forces in support of Pacific Command strategy and objectives, as well as 7th Fleet’s ‘Framework for Action.’

"Guam’s location allows for our naval forces to respond to a crisis or contingency with the required combat power in days instead of weeks from the west coast," he added. "I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to team with Guam and the Marianas as commander, Submarine Group 7.”

While on island, Bird also took the time to tour other sites, including U.S. Naval Forces Marianas Ordnance Annex, the privately owned Guam Shipyard and Apra Harbor. In addition, Bird met with Guam Gov. Felix Camacho and members of the Guam Chamber of Commerce.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Guam,” he said. “It is a beautiful island, populated with very proud patriots … I’m looking forward to returning very soon to see even more.”

 



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