TAKAMATSU, Japan – Mine countermeasures ship USS Patriot (MCM 7) arrived in Takamatsu, Japan for a port visit Jan. 27.
This is the first time a U.S. Navy ship has visited the coastal city since USS Rentz (FFG 46) in 2009.
While in port, Sailors will have the opportunity to experience regional customs and engage with the local community.
Approximately 20 Patriot Sailors will also be rolling up their sleeves and participating in a community service (COMSERV) project at one of Japan’s historic national parks.
“This port visit represents an opportunity for the crew to serve as goodwill ambassadors of the U.S. promoting peace and stability in the region,” said Patriot commanding officer Lt. Cmdr. Suzanne Schang. “Our visit to Takamatsu also serves as a chance to further communicate the alliance and strong working relationship between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.”
Schang will hold media availability on the ship and her crew will provide the media with escorted tours of their workspaces. Schang will meet with local government officials, and will be giving a speech on “Women and Leadership” at the Takamatsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jan. 30.
“This port visit is full of great opportunities for the Patriot crew to demonstrate its professionalism and to foster growing relationships with our regional partner,” said Schang.
Sailors said they were looking forward to visiting their first port of Patriot’s 2012 spring patrol, for some, it is the first port visit of their Navy career.
“For me this is just the beginning of my Navy career and I am excited about Takamatsu being my first port,” said Mineman Seaman James Kramer. “I cannot wait to see what the city is like, especially the local food. I can only imagine the great experiences ahead of me in the Navy.”
“Port visits are definitely a morale builder for a crew and our visit to Takamatsu is going to be special for a lot of the new guys,” said Mineman 1st Class (SW) Ralph Bishop. “I think this visit will be special for the city as well. With our ship’s size, we are able to visit ports such as this one while larger Navy ships cannot. This maybe the first time many of the local population have ever seen a Navy ship. We want to leave them with a great impression.”
As of 2012, Patriot has received five consecutive “Battle E” awards for battle effectiveness, an exemplary standard of recognition in the Navy. Patriot is currently on its 2012 patrol and is one of four mine countermeasure ships forward deployed in Sasebo Japan.