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Third Fleet Welcomes USS Chief and USS Warrior

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Krishna Jackson, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet has increased its fleet by two. Mine countermeasures ships, USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Chief (MCM 14) arrived at their new homeport at Naval Base San Diego April 17.

Warrior and Chief are attached to commander, Mine Countermeasure Squadron 2. They departed Ingleside, Texas approximately one month ago for their change of homeport to Naval Base San Diego. The base has been making many preparations for the arrival of the ships and commands.

"There have been facility upgrades and refurbishments to support the MCM ships and command staffs," said Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier, Naval Mine and Anti-submarine Warfare Command's vice commander. "These include barracks refurbishments, addition of base parking, staff space renovation and upgrades to existing facilities and new construction to support the Mine Warfare Training Center moving to San Diego."

The relocation of the MCMs and other mine warfare (MIW) commands is in accordance with the Department of Defense Base Relocation and Closure Commission's (BRAC) directed closure of Naval Station Ingleside.

More than 150 Sailors and their families are moving to San Diego with the homeport shift of Chief and Warrior.

San Antonio native and Warrior crew member, Culinary Specialist 1st Class Mauricio Sanchez, met his wife, Myra Sanchez, their two sons, Chris and Steve and her family, on the pier when the ship arrived. Myra Sanchez' family has called San Diego home for more than two generations.

"We're very excited that we moved here. While we were in Texas for two years the Warrior deployed four times. We're hoping to spend more time together here in San Diego," Myra Sanchez said.

Several commands and support facilities have moved or are in the process of moving to San Diego and include repair support, squadron and mine warfare staffs, Commander Mobile Mine Assembly Group and the Mine Warfare Training Center.

MCM ships possess the ability to effectively control, shape and dominate the littoral operational area. The merger between naval anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and MIW is the latest step towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of these warfare capabilities, resources and technology functions.

"We are used to working on our own and now that we are part of 3rd Fleet we are excited about being fully integrated into their training and conducting operations with other ships here in San Diego," said Lt. Cmdr. John Krisciunas, Chief's commanding officer.

Shifting the MCMs and MIW commands to San Diego gains synergy and efficiency as well as co-locating it with ASW to create a warfare center of excellence for Undersea Warfare. This provides additional flexibility for integrated training in order to be most effective in executing the Maritime Strategy.

Story Number: NNS090420-12 Release Date: 4/20/2009 3:22:00 PM

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