Seven Sailors assigned to AMPHIBIOUS SQUADRON ELEVEN were recognized for their efforts recently in an awards ceremony held underway in the focsle of the USS ESSEX (LHD 2), Sept 21.
The PHIBRON ELEVEN Sailors received Flag Letter of Commendations (FLOC) from Commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. Seventh Fleet, RDML Richard Landolt. The awardees volunteered their time to ensure the success of the picnic held at Nimitz Park Sasebo during the first annual week-long bilateral Friendship Week between the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Aug 24-27.
Capt. Mark Weber, commander, PHIBRON ELEVEN, said the week’s events went a long way toward achieving those goals.
“It certainly was a pleasure to co-host the week-long series of events we had with the United States Navy and our host-nation counterparts, the JMSDF,” said Weber. “I think we were really able to build upon the strong ties that we already had and make them even stronger.”
Friendship Week concluded with a picnic at Nimitz Park, a U.S. Navy athletic complex open to the local community. At the picnic, Rear Adm. Umio Otsuka, commander, Escort Flotilla 2, spoke to Sailors and families of both nations about his views for the future of the U.S.-JMSDF relationship in Sasebo.
“The event was very much a success,” said Otsuka. “The next goal is to repeat it. This should not be just a one-time event; it should be just one in a long series of events.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan.
The ESX ARG is led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron (CPR) Eleven and is also composed of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9), and the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49).