SASEBO, Japan -- The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) returned to Sasebo, Japan on Nov. 1st after completing a routine patrol in the Western Pacific.
Germantown, along with Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) based out of Okinawa, Japan, conducted certification and training exercises during the ten-week patrol.
“The teamwork between the Germantown crew and the 31st MEU really exemplified what can be done through hard work and training,” said Cmdr. Severn Stevens, commanding officer of Germantown. “The blue-green team is an integral part of our nation’s defense and joint operations like these help strengthen the bonds that allow us to succeed.”
During the patrol, Sailors and Marines participated in several regional engagements and bilateral exercises such as Certification Exercise (CERTEX) 16, Valiant Shield 16, and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 33.
These operations were focused on enhancing bilateral interoperability and building readiness for potential real-world scenarios through amphibious military operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
Germantown made port visits to Manila and Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, and to Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The visits coincided with bilateral military operations and exercises with the host nations.
Sailors and Marines were able to experience cultural and military exchanges during their visit and explore, shop, and dine during liberty in these ports of call.
“The crew’s perseverance and professionalism throughout the patrol has led to the successful execution of our mission objectives, and for that I am very proud,” said Stevens.
Germantown, attached to Expeditionary Strike Group 7, is forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan, in support of security and stability in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation.