The USS Louisville, a Los Angeles-class submarine home ported at Pearl Harbor, is celebrating its 31st birthday. This morning on Wake Up 2day, one of its top sailors, Petty Officer Rakeem Lee joined us in studio to talk about life aboard the Louisville.
“I am so proud to be a part of this crew,” says Rakeem. “We work hard and overcome challenges as a team every day. This current crew joins a long line of proud Submarine Sailors who have made up the crew of the Louisville for 31 years. I will say that the Louisville is the best submarine in the fleet but I have a feeling other Submarines would have something to say about that. But deep down they know it is true. We have a spirit of service aboard Louisville.”
Lee says that spirit of service extends to the community that they call home. He says many members of the crew donate their time to worthwhile causes throughout the island.
“One of my favorites is ‘Project Date’ who serves here in Kalihi,” says Lee. “Its mission is to transform lives by building relationships. They provide accessible services to the homeless and low-income families. As a ship we believe in being involved in the communities where we live. Oftentimes we are gone but we carry that same spirit of service with us. Whether that was visiting an orphanage in Korea or doing beach cleanups in the Philippines we enjoy serving others.”
Lee says they enjoy tremendous support from the people of the submarine’s namesake city. He says their support means everything to the crew.
“We receive everything from care packages to a special group sending us their world famous Louisville derby pies which the crew loves,” says Lee. “Some of the crew was able to attend the Kentucky Derby this year and give back some of the love and support that the people of Louisville has given to us over the years.”
Space on a submarine is a scarce commodity so things can get a little tight but the crew makes it work.
Being on a submarine creates a close bond with all the crew members. It takes each sailor doing his or her job correctly to make it home safely. Petty Officer Rakeem Lee is a native of Alabama. He has served in the Navy for eleven years.
The USS Louisville (SSN 724) returned home to family and friends gathered at the submarine piers of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 10, following a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific. It is the fourth United States ship to bear the name in honor of the city of Louisville, Kentucky. Her mission is to seek out and destroy enemy ships and submarines, and to protect U.S. national interests. At 360-feet long and 6,900 tons, she can be armed with sophisticated MK48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.