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SASEBO, Japan (May 30, 2013) – Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Jonathon Hopkins, Lietenant Junior Grade Jose Jingco, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Kristopher Kirby present “Honorary PATRIOT Crew Member” certificiates to Third and Fourth graders at the end of their tour of PATRIOT. (U.S. Navy photo by Mineman 2nd Class Daniel Bentley)
Darby Elementary School field trip to USS Patriot 
Story by Ensign Andrew Grimm, Public Affairs Member, USS Patriot 
Sasebo, Japan – USS Patriot (MCM 7) hosts 3rd and 4th grade Darby Elementary School students for a tour.
On 30 May 2013, USS Patriot hosted Darby Elementary School’s 3rd ad 4th grade classrooms. Led by Lt. Junior Grade Jingco and Lt. Junior Grade Kirby, the students were provided the opportunity to see what the Minesweepers do and to interact with members of the crew.

The students toured PATRIOT from the forecastle to the fantail to include the mine neutralization vehicles, sweep gear, small boats and the anchor. “The kids are so enthusiastic, they are really interested in our ship and the Navy” remarked Kirby. The students continued their tour on the 03 level with a static display of the ships .50 caliber weapons, flag hoist and the crew workout area. After a stop in the pilot house to see where the crew controls and navigates the ship they visited the Commanding Officer’s cabin and one of the crew berthings.

The tour ended with the students enjoying a meal with the members of the crew on the messdecks. PATRIOT’s Culinary Specialists prepared a meal of grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza casserole and brownies. “The kids absolutely loved the food, our compliments to the chef” said their teacher, Ms. Cambell.

After lunch the students were presented certificates and a PATRIOT sticker by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Hopkins, making them honorary PATRIOT crew members. “The students are thrilled about being honorary PATRIOTs, they feel a real sense of responsibility and feel they have a job onboard the ship” remarked Ms. Cambell.

“The crew of PATRIOT feels privileged to have the opportunity to host the students of Darby Elementary School. The crew works very hard each and every day and it is nice to give the kids the chance to see what they do and how great their ship is” stated Lieutenant Hollinger, PATRIOT’s Executive Officer.

USS Patriot (MCM 7) is an Avenger Class Mine Countermeasures ship home ported in Sasebo, Japan since 1994.
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