Isa Baza, KUAM News
11 January 2016
A two-star naval admiral in charge of the US Sub Pacific Fleet is in Guam this week visiting submarines at Naval Base Guam. Rear Admiral Fritz Roegge is in charge of the US submarine force throughout the entire Pacific Region, and he said, "My domain includes submariners in the Seattle area, San Diego, obviously Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Yokuska, Japan, and of course, here in Guam, which is really the front lines of our forward deployed presence."
Rear admiral Roegge is in Guam this meeting with sailors from the island's four homeported attack submarines. Guam received an additional submarine last year, and last month the military also announced Guam will receive a new home-ported submarine tender, the USS Emory S. Land, which is being transferred from Diego Garcia. Roegge said beefing up capabilities on island has been in the works for over a decade, particularly because of Guam's key location close to areas of interest.
"Areas of interest not just to the United States, but to the entire international community," shared the naval officer, "who all have an interest in ensuring the rules of law and of freedom of the seas are respected."
He said the main role of attack submarines is anti-submarine warfare, explaining, "And then, of course, all of our submarines are capable of collecting intelligence, of remaining stealthy and undetected, of operating with other forces like Navy SEALs and special operating forces."
He noted the importance placed in Guam can only grow in the future, adding that different areas in the joint force already see the benefit of being deployed, and are looking at Guam as a potential site.
During his stay in Guam Rear Admiral Roegge will also be promoting the "Go Guam" initiative, saying, "Because we recognize the importance of Guam, it's very important for the submarine force to not only have submarines, and supporting organizations here, but to have the very best submariners."
The initiative aims to encourage sailors from around the world to work in Guam. "This is where the action is, the boats that are here have a high operating tempo of doing the kinds of missions that submarines have always done and submariners care most about. The kinds of missions that make a difference to our national security, the kinds of things that we may never be able to explain clearly in an unclassified manner to our families and loved ones," he said.
He thanked the local community for continued support and hospitality toward sailors and their families.