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Family members of USS Buffalo sailors will begin moving to Guam in fall 2006 ahead of the warship’s expected transfer from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Navy officials announced Tuesday.

The nuclear-powered submarine is scheduled to arrive at Guam in fiscal 2007 following a modernization period in Pearl Harbor. The Buffalo will be based permanently at U.S. Naval Base Guam, joining the USS City of Corpus Christi and USS Houston. It’s replacing the USS San Francisco, which is undergoing repairs at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., after it struck an undersea mountain early this year in the western Pacific, killing one sailor. The San Francisco eventually will be returned to full service, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeff A. Davis, spokesman for Pacific Submarine Force.

The Buffalo, the Navy’s 25th Los Angeles-class submarine, has a crew of about 130 sailors. Like other submarines in its class, the ship can carry the most advanced weapons available to the submarine force, according to Navy officials, including the MK-48 torpedo and the Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile.

Navy officials on Guam stated in a news release Tuesday that the Buffalo’s relocation maintains the Navy’s commitment to preserve a forward-deployed presence of three submarines in Guam. The Buffalo has been based in Pearl Harbor since 1984.

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