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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew R. White

KURE, Japan (NNS) -- The forward-deployed Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) hosted several midshipmen from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) July 7.

"We're trying to get them the best overview of our ship as possible," said Ensign James Coughlin, Shiloh midshipmen liaison. "We've shown them different aspects of what we do on Shiloh, different areas of the ship and tried to get them a very balanced view."

Shiloh's crew showed midshipmen around the ship, including major control and warfare areas.

"We took them on the bridge, in the gun mount, taught them how to use a fire hose," Coughlin said. "I've been trying to give these guys the best experience I can."

"I have learned many things from the U.S. officers," said JMSDF midshipman Yu Fujii. "The most important thing, I think, is to be familiar with his, or her, crew," he said, adding, "to know each person's rate, name, and what he or she is like."

Fujii said he was also impressed with the atmosphere and relationship between the officers and enlisted aboard Shiloh.

"What is important is to do our best to do our duty," said fellow JMSDF midshipman, Takeshi Hanakawa. "And to fulfill the duty it is important to be good leaders for our ship," Hanakawa added.

"I believe that Japan and the United States have superior relations, and they will last for a long time," said Hanakawa. "This exchange program between our nations will play an important role in continuing our relationship with the United States."

Shiloh is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan and operates as part of the Navy's 7th Fleet.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.

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