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USS Emory S. Land submarine tender arrives in Darwin

USS Emory S. Land prepares to come alongside Kuru Wharf at HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin, NT, during its visit of Australia. Photo: POIS Leo Baumgartner

Australia has welcomed the United States’ submarine tender, the USS Emory S. Land, to Darwin for a port visit.

Australia has welcomed the United States’ submarine tender, the USS Emory S. Land, to Darwin for a port visit.

Emory. S. Land’s Commanding Officer, Captain Brent Spillner, and his crew were welcomed by Commanding Officer of HMAS Coonawarra, Captain David Shirvington, on 28 May.

While in Darwin, the crew of the submarine tender has a full itinerary of community and cultural events, so they can experience the best of the Top End.


Darwin is the first port visit of Emory S. Land’s current deployment, which began on 17 May.

Since January, the Emory S. Land has been home to more than 30 Royal Australian Navy officers and sailors who departed for Guam to embed on board the submarine tender.

These officers and sailors spent five months on the tender, integrating with US sailors and building unique knowledge, skills, and experience in how the US conducts nuclear-powered submarine maintenance.

The personnel involved range in rank from seaman to lieutenant and include electrical technicians, marine technicians, and boatswain’s mates. A number of Australian personnel are travelling on the tender, deepening their experience of tender-based maintenance at sea.

“For those Royal Australian Navy officers and sailors on board the Emory S. Land, this deployment is an incredible opportunity to put their training and technical skills into practice,” Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond said.

“More than 30 of our people have spent the last five months in Guam with our US Navy partners, learning the ropes of nuclear submarine tender maintenance.

“This unique program will contribute significantly to our Navy’s future, developing our people to have the skills to operate, maintain and steward conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.”

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