Submarine Tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) arrived in the State on 22nd April as part of the U.S. Navy’s cooperation and goodwill mission to India and will provide support services to USS LaJolla (SSN 701), a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine, which will be moored outboard the tender.
Emory S. Land is to provide intermediate level expeditionary maintenance, repairs and logistical services to submarines and surface ships operating in the U.S. Navy’s fifth, sixth and seventh fleet areas of responsibility.
Emory S. Land’s repair department will perform minor equipment adjustments as well as manufacture and provide some quality of life items to the crew’s eating and living spaces that will help make the submarine’s sailors’ lives more comfortable.
“Our visit will not be all work and no relaxation,” said Command Master Chief Paul Sweeney. “The crew will be participating in community relation projects and sightseeing tours and activities.”
The members will participate in a tree planting project as well as a basketball game with a local club team. The ship will also be providing a limited number of tours and will be hosting a reception.
“We are very excited to be here in Goa,” said Capt. Eric Merrill, Commanding Officer of Emory S. Land. “Our crew is honored to have the opportunity to visit Goa and further strengthen our partnership between two navies and governments.”
As it is for the first time for many of the members, they are looking forward to participate in community activities and experiencing India’s cultural sites. “I’m enormously excited to experience a different culture, potentially riding elephants, and participating in community relations projects,” says Master-at-Arms 2nd Class John Dunn, who works in the security department aboard Land.
In early 2010, Emory S. Land completed its conversion from an all U.S. Navy sailor crew to an integrated crew of sailors and civilian mariners, becoming the first submarine tender to operate under this hybrid crew concept. Emory S. Land remains under the command of a U.S. Navy captain.
“The crew, sailors and civilian mariners alike, are extremely professional in operating this nearly 32 year old ship as one team,” said Sweeney. “While there are some cultural differences in operations between sailors and civilian mariners, the integrated crew has brought efficiency in operations and manpower. I’m very proud of them,” he added.
Less than a year ago, Emory S Land changed home ports from Bremerton, Washington to the archipelago island of Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory. Emory S Land, with her nearly 400 crew members, is the only permanently home ported naval ship in Diego Garcia.
Emory S. Land was commissioned on 7th July 1979, and named after Vice Admiral Emory S. Land who helped pioneer American submarine design and development of submarines that formed the backbone of the U.S. Submarine Fleet in World War II.