December 16, 2020 – The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a change of homeport from Guam, Dec. 15.
“I am very excited for this change of moving from one tropical island to another where the people, food and culture are wonderful,” said Cmdr. Richard Salazar, commanding officer of USS Topeka. “The crew and their families did a fantastic job of getting things ready in a timely manner and transitioning to a new place. There is so much logistics and stress that goes into a change of homeport, but the crew and their families did a tremendous job navigating through it all, and we are so happy to be here.”
Topeka is the 10th Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and is assigned to Submarine Squadron 7.
“Since 2015, Topeka has served as the tip of the spear in Guam,” said Capt. Mike Majewski, Commodore, Submarine Squadron 7. “She steamed thousands of nautical miles in support of national and Pacific Fleet objectives, and participated in numerous national and international exercises. We are proud of everything that Topeka has done and are honored to have her here in Pearl Harbor and part of the Submarine Squadron 7 team.”
Since Topeka’s arrival in Guam in 2015, the submarine has successfully deployed four times, participated in 14 exercises and earned the Engineering Efficiency Award every year. In 2017, they won the Commander, Submarine Squadron 15 Battle Efficiency Award.
Shortly after arriving at her new home in Hawaii, Topeka will go into Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard to conduct a regularly scheduled major maintenance availability for upgrades and repairs. Once complete, the boat will return to the fleet ready to support the nation as one of the most advanced submarines in the world.
“Topeka is going to head into a maintenance availability period to help us get ready for the next deployment,” said Salazar. “We are a forward-deployed naval force, and that operational tempo can cause a lot of stress, so we are looking forward to enjoying some time with our families.”
The submarine’s ability to support a multitude of missions, to include ant-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, and strike warfare, makes Topeka one of the most capable submarines in the world.
Commissioned Oct. 21, 1989, Topeka is the third United States ship to bear the name in honor of the city of Topeka, Kansas. Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines make up the majority of the submarine force, with nearly 40 still in commission. Topeka returned from her last deployment, Oct. 24, 2020, where she conducted operations vital to national security in the Western Pacific.