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GUAM — The third fast-attack submarine to make Guam’s Apra Harbor its home has surfaced.

The USS Houston, now based in Bremerton, Wash., will make this tropical island its permanent base in January 2004, said Navy Capt. Joseph Mulloy, Submarine Squadron 15 commander.

The Houston, a 362-foot, 20-year-old fast-attack sub, represents the third and final component of the newly reactivated Submarine Squadron 15.

It’s similar to the squadron’s other two subs, Mulloy said. The USS City of Corpus Christi arrived on Guam in October 2002, followed later that year by the USS San Francisco.

The Houston completes the squadron “as programmed,” Mulloy said, adding that more subs could be based in Guam if necessary. The Houston, a Los Angeles class sub, is slated for roughly a “13-year stay on the island,” he said.

About 150 sailors are stationed on the Houston, and they’ll move with the vessel from its current port to Guam. The Houston, Corpus Christi and San Francisco are the only fast-attack submarines stationed outside the continental United States, the squadron commander said.

The original Submarine Squadron 15 formed in 1963 in Pearl Harbor, according to the squadron’s official history. It moved to Guam in 1964 and was dissolved in 1981.

The new squadron was re-established Sept. 23, 2001.

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