(Photo: Lt. Lauren Spaziano, Sub Squadron 15)
Sailors assigned to Submarine Squadron 15 and its monitoring team volunteered time to assist with typhoon recovery in the command’s sister village of Inarajan, Sept. 17-19. The command dedicated 20 volunteers over a three-day period in a collaborative effort with the Inarajan mayor’s office to clear fallen trees and brush following Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit Sept. 10. “After the storm, we knew we wanted to reach out to our sister village and offer our assistance,” said Capt. Timothy Poe, COMSUBRON 15. “They’ve always been welcoming and supportive, and I am glad we were able to send some volunteers to help them. We all live on this beautiful island, and we do what every good neighbor would do: we help each other out in times of need.” The collaborative recovery effort was an opportunity for the sailors and their families to engage with the residents of Inarajan and foster relationships between the military and local community. It also allowed the village to recover at a quicker pace. “It really touches my heart for you folks to come down here and help us during the typhoon recovery efforts,” said Inarajan Mayor Doris Lujan. “I really appreciate each and every one of you for helping the community.” COMSUBRON 15 and PMT det Guam volunteers included sailors, family members, and friends, and they were joined by the staff of the Inarajan mayor’s office. Together, they cleared fallen trees, brush and trash along Route 4 in Malojloj and Inarajan as well as three side roads. Residents thanked the volunteers for assisting with the clean-up as they came by clearing debris. “The clean-up was a wonderful experience,” said Electronics Technician (Navigation) 1st Class Alex Hepburn, a volunteer from COMSUBRON 15. “Our volunteers came together with our sister village to achieve the same goal. It was a great opportunity, and I loved working side by side with the hardworking people of Inarajan.” The mayor’s office provided lunch for volunteers on all three days and plans to throw a fiesta to celebrate the teamwork between the sailors and the village during the recovery efforts. “On behalf of the community of Inarajan and the mayor’s office and staff, I would like to express our big ‘thank you’ for helping us with the typhoon recovery efforts,” said Lujan. “This is really great for the community and the partnership we have with the submarine squadron.” COMSUBRON 15 participates in volunteer events with Inarajan throughout the year, fostering the strong relationship between the sailors and the local community. The command plans to assist Inarajan with the Guam International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 29, which was rescheduled from Sept. 15 due to the typhoon. “The submarine squadron is always there with us, and we really appreciate it,” said Lujan. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
COMSUBRON 15 is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Apra Harbor, Guam, and consists of four Los Angeles-class attack submarines. The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support to these commands. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable and USS Emory S. Land. The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are readily capable of meeting global operational requirements.