YASHIMA, Japan –
Approximately 20 Sailors assigned to the USS Patriot (MCM 7) participated in a community service (COMSERV) project at Seto Inland Sea National Park Jan. 29.
While at the historic national park in the Kagawa prefecture, Patriot Sailors, alongside more than 40 local volunteers, cleared branches and removed debris from the coastline. Once completed, the Sailors were treated to a mochi pounding demonstration and Sanuki udon noodle lunch, a local cuisine that was prepared by community members.
Mr. Masataka Sasaki, the community manager, thanked the Sailors for their time well spent.
“We are very glad that you all have come here today and we hope that your time in Takamatsu is enjoyable,” he said during his remarks. “We thank you for your hard work and generosity and we are happy to have this chance to interact with you.”
Patriot’s command master chief, Mike Kaszubowski said he and the crew were glad to have the opportunity to take part in the beautification of the national park.
“It has been an honor and privilege to be here today,” he said. “Words can not begin to describe the kindness of this community and the city of Takamatsu as a whole. It was great to see our Sailors out here today working side by side with the local community making a difference.”
According to Ensign Jose Jingco, the day’s event were a positive way of showing the crew’s appreciation for their port visit to Takamatsu.
“Today was amazing,” he said. “I think doing COMSERV projects is a great way to interact with the community when we visit ports. It also helps strengthen relationships and creates new friendships. I am glad I had the chance to come here today.”
Engineman 3rd Class Reynald Salazar said he looks forward to COMSERV projects because they are a good way to see other parts of a port when visiting.
“While going out on liberty in port is fun, I think doing COMSERV projects can offer more to the experience in port,” he said. “You get to see other parts of the surrounding areas you may not get to see when you are out on liberty. Plus you have the chance to meet great people in the community, that is always a plus.”
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.