By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Mike Leporati, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Sentry (MCM 3) arrived at its new homeport, Naval Base San Diego Sept. 9, as part of a homeport change from Naval Station (NS) Ingleside, Texas.
Sentry is the last of eight mine countermeasure ships (MCM) to arrive from NS Ingleside. The movement of the MCM's are in accordance with the Defense Base Relocation and Closure Commission's directed closure of the base by April 2010. The departure continues the consolidation of mine warfare surface assets in one location to align resources, consolidate expertise and increase cost-savings in maintenance, training and operations.
"It's really great to be in San Diego," said Lt. Cmdr. Hans E. Lynch, Sentry commanding officer, Crew Swerve.
Sentry's 76-man crew left NS Ingleside on May 20 and spent four months traveling through the southern United States and Central America.
"It was a long trip for the crew," said Lynch. "We traveled through the Panama Canal and we trained with the Canadian navy off the coast of Mazatlan. So this is great to get back together with their families."
Brandie Sievers waited with her two children for her husband Engineman 1st Class Casey Sievers in a mass of woman and children.
As Sentry approached the pier Sievers turned to her children and said, "Look there's you're daddy's ship."
"We are very close-knit because we're part of a smaller command. We're like a family and we communicate better than if we were on a bigger ship," Sievers explained.
Sentry belongs to Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (COMCMRON) 2, with seven other mine sweepers which include USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Chief (MCM 14) who arrived in April and May.
"Moving to San Diego is going to be a benefit because the weather is more conducive to our training and we'll have much greater access to repair facilities and technical assists," said Lynch.
MCM ships possess the ability to effectively control, shape and dominate the littoral operational area which includes locating and neutralizing mines. The merger between naval mine warfare and anit-submarine warfare is the latest step towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of these warfare capabilities, resources and technology functions.
Sentry helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, and preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50 million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c3f/.