SASEBO, Japan –USS Germantown (LSD 42) hosted four Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Sailors from JS Kurama (DDH 144) for a ship tour of the while she was in a drydock availability on Feb. 10.
Kurama returned the favor by inviting seven Sailors from the Germantown for a ship tour Feb. 15, before she began decommissioning preparations.
Germantown’sNavigator, Lt. J.g. Alan Cybulski, coordinated the tours between the two ships weeks before the event. Although the tour route was limited by the shipyard work in progress in the Sasebo Heavy Industries dry dock, the tour showed the visiting JMSDF sailors the flight deck, medical facilities and bridge. They were impressed with the size of the crew and the number of personnel who can embark during deployments.
“This was both an education and fun for both the US and Japanese forces,” said Cybulski. “I think it is essential we maintain and strengthen the strong bond we have with our Japanese partners.”
Germantown Sailors marveled at the Japanese helicopter destroyer, as it is the last JMSDF steam propulsion ship and once hosted Japan’s Prime Minister Abe during a fleet review, and for the hospitality that her crew conveyed.
“These tours are what help us strengthen our relationship and continue to build trust with our neighbors,” said Germantown’s Dispersing Officer Lt. J.g. Chen, . “This reaffirms we share common links with our allies.”
Germantown is forward-deployed to Amphibious Squadron 11 and is currently undergoing a Drydock Ship Restricted Availability in Sasebo, Japan.