SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 754) hosted country music singer Hunter Hayes and his band for a shipboard tour at Naval Base Guam (NBG), Oct. 21.
Hayes and his band were invited to tour Topeka between performances at Andersen Air Force Base and NBG on Friday and Saturday, respectively. They jumped at the opportunity, having never been aboard a U.S. submarine.
"Being able to tour a submarine was unbelievable," said Hayes. "I've always had a massive respect for everything our service members do, but to be there and experience it, to try to wrap my head around the mechanical aspects and everything we saw, it was just phenomenal. The Topeka and her crew are incredible, and I'm so glad we were able to take a tour."
Cmdr. Steven Tarr III, Topeka's commanding officer, led the singer and his band topside before heading inside the submarine to tour the control room, living quarters, torpedo room and mess decks.
"We're honored to be here," said Hayes. "We've been looking forward to the tour, and seeing the submarine was a privilege. We really appreciate you letting us see what the Sailors do on a daily basis."
Hayes posed for photographs and signed autographs with Sailors and family members before leaving the pier to prepare for his performance.
"I'm thrilled Hunter Hayes is in Guam to support our troops," said Lizzie Thomas, a military spouse whose husband is assigned to Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722). "It was exciting to meet him, and I'm looking forward to seeing more country music out here on Guam!"
As a salute to the crew, Hayes wore his new Topeka ball cap as he sang and played guitar during his show at NBG.
"We appreciate Hunter Hayes and his band's support of the military on Guam," said Tarr. "It's great to have a very popular entertainer come out here for the Sailors, other service members and their families. A big thanks to Navy Entertainment and MWR for coordinating the performances here."
Hayes and his band began their Pacific tour in Hawaii and head to Japan and South Korea next for a total of nine performances on Navy, Army and Air Force bases.
"Hunter is super excited to be on Guam," said Karen Fritz, head of Special Events and Entertainment at Navy Entertainment. "Our Pacific tour is his second tour with Navy Entertainment. He is a huge fan of the military and loves spending time with the troops."
Hayes' Pacific tour is sponsored Navy MWR and Navy Entertainment, a division of Navy MWR, to boost morale of service members on Guam. Navy Entertainment delivers quality celebrity shows to Navy locations and ships at sea.
Topeka is assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 15, which is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Apra Harbor, Guam, and consists of four Los Angeles-class attack submarines. The COMSUBRON 15 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 (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39). 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.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Squadron 15, visit our official CSS-15 website at http://www.csp.navy.mil/css15 and our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SubmarineSquadron15/.
Are you interested in taking orders to Guam? Want to learn more about the duty station and life on our island? For more information, check out the 'Go Guam!' website at http://www.csp.navy.mil/go-guam/ and download the '1st Fifteen' checklist.
For more information about Navy Entertainment, visit their website at http://www.navymwr.org/entertainment/ or their official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/navyentertainment/.