USS Topeka Holds Change of Command

by Commander, Submarine Squadron 15 Public Affairs
U.S. Navy

SANTA RITA, Guam – Cmdr. Steven Tarr III relieved Cmdr. David Lammers as commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) during a ceremony at the Naval Base Guam chapel Aug. 5.

Capt. Jeffrey Grimes, Joint Region Marianas Chief of Staff and former commander of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 15, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. He congratulated Lammers and the crew of Topeka on a job well done.

“Topeka has done great things under Dave’s leadership,” said Grimes. “They left their shipyard period almost three weeks early and came to Guam as our fourth submarine. The most technologically advanced submarine in the U.S. Navy, Topeka has been completely upgraded from bow to stern and brings a whole new level of fire power to the Pacific.”

Topeka recently completed national tasking in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, where the crew executed the Chief of Naval Operations’ Maritime Strategy supporting national security interests and maritime security operations. Lammers was in command approximately two and a half years, during which Topeka completed an engineered overhaul in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 20 days ahead of schedule, successfully changed homeport from San Diego to Guam and conducted forward operations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Capt. David Schappert, commander, SUBRON 15, presented Lammers with a Legion of Merit.

“It has been a long journey from an East Coast shipyard to our new home in the Western Pacific,” said Lammers. “This crew has worked extremely hard and made countless sacrifices in the name of Topeka’s success. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to command such a fine warship, and I am extremely proud of the crew’s ability to overcome every obstacle and make this ship a capable fighting force in the Pacific. I look forward to seeing Topeka’s continued success with Cmdr. Tarr at the helm.”

Lammers heads to the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) following Topeka’s change of command.

Tarr is looking forward to his time as Topeka’s new commanding officer.

“The past few weeks have made me excited to serve as your commanding officer,” said Tarr. “Topeka’s crew is the best in the submarine force, and I know we will continue to succeed.”

Topeka, commissioned Oct. 21, 1989, is the Navy’s third ship to be named for the city of Topeka, Kansas, and is the fourth “improved” Los Angeles-class attack submarine. Improved modifications of this class include retractable bow planes, a reinforced sail for under ice operations, vertical launch Tomahawk Cruise Missile capability, ship quieting enhancements and an integrated combat systems suite. Measuring 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Topeka has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors and is capable of supporting various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Topeka is a member of SUBRON 15, which is located at Polaris Point in Apra Harbor, Guam. SUBRON 15 staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support of four Los Angeles-class attack submarines stationed in Guam. The submarines and submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are readily capable of meeting global operational requirements.

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