USS North Carolina welcomed to HMAS Stirling naval base
Australia has officially welcomed the first US Virginia Class next-generation attack submarine to visit the nation since the AUKUS defence agreement was announced in March.
The 115-metre, 7,800-tonne United States Navy submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) arrived in Perth, Western Australia, on 4 August for a scheduled port visit as part of routine patrols in the Indo-Pacific region.
The USS North Carolina’s visit follows an appearance by USS Asheville in March, USS Mississippi in November, and visits of USS Frank Cable and USS Springfield in April 2022.
The nuclear-powered Virginia Class vessel brings with it more than 130 crew members, from the homeport of Pearl Harbor, while docked at HMAS Stirling naval base on Garden Island, near Rockingham.
“Through increased UK and US port visits and the Submarine Rotational Force–West initiative, Australia will progressively develop the skills, knowledge, and expertise to operate, maintain, and steward nuclear-powered submarines,” said Australian Submarine Agency director general Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead.