The submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) departed Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands last Nov. 1. This was Frank Cable’s first port visit since departing Apra Harbor, Guam, and taking over as the expeditionary submarine tender.
“We extend our sincere appreciation to our friends [on] Saipan,” said Capt. Albert Alarcon, Frank Cable’s commanding officer. “Our crew enjoyed their hospitality and warmth, while taking every opportunity to learn about the island’s culture and history. Saipan has much to offer, especially for those who enjoy outdoor and ocean activities.”
The sailors and civil service mariners abided by all COVID-19 protocols. There were several businesses open to the public, and crewmembers were able to visit historical sites, enjoy the local cuisine, and spend some time off the ship relaxing.
“The [MSC] crew thoroughly enjoyed their stay [on] Saipan,” said MSC Capt. Patrick Peck, Ship’s Master. “They were able to relax in hotels, but also experience the beauty of the island, its culture, and the fantastic beaches and scenery. Great restaurants, coffee shops and shopping of all kinds were available and many were impressed by the swimming, diving and snorkeling locations.”
Crewmembers were able to take in many of the sights that Saipan had to offer. Saipan isn’t only known for its tropical climate and pristine waters; it was also the site of the Battle of Saipan during World War II. Memorials dot the coastline and cliffs of the island, honoring those that fought.
“We were able to take the bus tour to go to the different sites,” said Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Hunter Kinney. “I didn’t know Saipan had so much military history.”
One of the largest memorials on the island is the 133-acre American Memorial Park where 5,204 names of Chamorro and Carolinian civilians, and members of the U.S. Armed Forces are inscribed on bronze plaques surrounding the national ensign, each military branch flag, and the flag of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The memorial was dedicated in 1994, on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Saipan.
Frank Cable crewmembers were able to visit each location, learning about the history of the island and remembering those who came before.
“It was an amazing experience to see such sites,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Christian Bailey. “It is definitely something I will carry with me all my life.”
U.S. Navy ships and submarines routinely make ports of call in a variety of locations around the globe. The purpose of these port visits reflect the relationships with our allies and strengthens our longstanding partnerships.
“I believe it is important because this is part of the job,” said Bailey. “This shows that we are here, we are ready to assist, and that we want to help. It also helps some of the new sailors experience new cultures and try new things.”
Frank Cable, forward-deployed to the island of Guam, repairs, rearms, and reprovisions submarines and surface vessels in the Indo-Pacific region. Frank Cable is on patrol conducting expeditionary maintenance and logistics in support of national security in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. For more information on Frank Cable, see their page on Facebook at USS Frank Cable (AS 40), or http://www.csp.navy.mil/frankcable.
Under Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.