ANDAMAN SEA — The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) hosted several Royal Thai Navy (RTN) dignitaries April 8 during the bilateral exercise Guardian Sea.
Vice Adm. Chareonpol Koomrasi, Chief of Staff of the RTN Fleet led a group that included the commanders of the Helicopter Carrier Squadron, Frigate Squadron One, Frigate Squadron Two, and the Submarine Squadron.
LT Matt Ziesmer, the submarine operations officer at Commander, Destroyer Squadron 7, said the visitors toured the crew’s mess, berthing areas, torpedo room, machinery room and control center. “It was a very positive experience for them,” said Ziesmer. “They were genuinely impressed with our capabilities and the technology onboard, but more than that, just the human dynamic of our close-knit crew who live and work on board a submarine for months at a time. It really brought home the importance of our mission here and the impact we have in the Indo Pacific.”
Guardian Sea, which ran from April 7-12, is a U.S. Navy and RTN anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise is designed to strengthen interoperability and reinforce procedures for tracking submarines in a variety of conditions.
Louisville joined the Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), along with several RTN ships and aircraft. Navy personnel from Commander, Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 participated in the exercise.
“Guardian Sea was an incredible experience, allowing for our Sailors to operate at sea in a realistic training environment with our friends and partners in the Royal Thai Navy,” said Louisville’s commanding officer Cmdr. Robert Rose. “We were able to build on our strong maritime relationships, and I am extremely proud of my crew’s efforts to prepare for, sustain and successfully execute this exercise in line with our training.”
Guardian Sea builds upon other engagements and exercises with Thailand to include Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), now in its 25th iteration; Pacific Partnership, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission; Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) involving more than a dozen partner nations; and Cobra Gold, Indo-Pacific’s largest multinational exercise. These engagements serve to enhance information sharing and coordination, build mutual warfighting capability and support long-term regional cooperation.
Louisville, homeported in Pearl Harbor and commissioned in 1986, is the fourth United States ship to bear the name in honor of the city of Louisville, Kentucky and the 35th Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine. She measures 360 feet long and displaces more than 6,900 tons.
COMSUBGRU 7 directs submarine activities throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and four attack submarines homeported in Guam; five surveillance towed array sensor system vessels and three oceanographic survey vessels when tasked for theater anti-submarine warfare operations.