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A third nuclear-powered submarine is set to make Guam home in December, Guam Naval Base officials confirmed Friday.

Lt. Arwen Consaul, Guam Naval Base spokeswoman, said the USS Houston will arrive in mid-December. The Houston currently ports in Bremerton, Wash.

“Strategically, Guam’s Central Pacific location offers significant savings in both time and distance for submarines,” Consaul said.

“Pacific Fleet submarine assets can be on station much quicker once stationed in Guam.”

Already home-ported on the island are the USS San Francisco and USS City of Corpus Christi. Both, like the Houston, are Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines, designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships.

Adm. Arthur J. Johnson, Guam Naval Base commander, told Stars and Stripes in June that the Houston was expected to join Guam’s Submarine Squadron 15 in December, bringing the number of submarine-force sailors on Guam to 1,550.

Each submarine brings about 150 sailors, with 200 to 300 family members, Consaul said.

Johnson also said that the Navy is studying whether to home-port up to three more submarines on Guam.

Consaul said Friday that the Navy recently finished the study and forwarded it to the chief of naval operations. No decision has been made, she said.

Consaul added that Guam still is a candidate, along with Hawaii, to receive a carrier battle group.

“The Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy are continuing the analysis of the factors for which island will be better-suited for home-basing a carrier,” she said.

Submarine Squadron 15 was reactivated as an attack submarine squadron on Guam in February 2001.

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