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By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 28) - The attack submarine USS San Francisco is leaving its Guam homeport later this summer, according to the Navy public affairs office on island.

The San Francisco will travel to a shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, after temporary repairs were made on Guam following its Jan. 28 accident. One sailor died and dozens were injured after the submarine hit an undersea mountain about 360 miles off Guam on January 8.

The submarine's bow has been repaired so that the ship has adequate structural integrity and buoyancy to transit safely on the surface under its own power, according to Navy public affairs.

So without San Francisco, will Guam be down to two home-ported submarines?

Not necessarily.

"Our previously stated goal of maintaining three (submarines) home-ported on Guam has not changed. However, we have no specific plans to announce at this time," said Lt. Arwen Chisolm, Navy spokeswoman on Guam, responding to e-mail questions from the Pacific Daily News.

San Francisco crushed its bow during the accident.

"They tested to see if the structural integrity was adequate for a surface transit back to a Navy shipyard," said Rowena Obrero, a spokeswoman for Commander, Submarine Force Pacific, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a report by the Navy Times.

The Navy has stated it would cost about $11 million to repair the submarine and an additional estimated US$7.5 million for predocking and docking work by the Guam Shipyard.

The two other submarines forward deployed to Guam are City of Corpus Christi and Houston.

The U.S. Navy has dozens of Los Angeles class submarines, according to its Web site.

July 29, 2005

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

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