YOKOSUKA, Japan – USS Patriot (MCM 7) hosted the commanding officer and officers of USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) for a tour Jan. 29 as a professional exchange between Surface Warfare Officers.
“I think it’s important to expose new officers to as much of the surface warfare community as possible. The specialized ships such as the Avenger Class Mine Countermeasure ships often get little attention simply because there are not as many surface warfare officers with experience on them,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Hopkins, Commanding Officer, USS Patriot “I hope the take away from this exchange is an appreciation for how much we can and do accomplish, as well as how rewarding a tour on a smaller ship can be.”
“It was an eye-opening tour,” said Ens. Heather Foxton, assistant strike officer, USS Curtis Wilbur “I am glad to have had the opportunity to see a different aspect of the surface warfare community and learning about the minesweepers’ capabilities, it is impressive to know what they accomplish, especially with the size of their crews.
The tour offered these officers a chance to compare and contrast life on a different platform with a very different mission set. Throughout the tour, Hopkins explained ship’s missions, capabilities and specialized equipment. After completing the tour, the guests discussed the similarities and differences between minesweepers and destroyers.
“Hearing Lt. Cmdr. Hopkins give insight on taking early command gives me something to consider for my naval career,” said Foxton.
Patriot’s wardroom is planning a visit to Curtis Wilbur during their upcoming training and assist visit to Yokosuka, Japan.
Patriot is forward-deployed to the U. S. 7th Fleet area of operations and operates from Sasebo, Japan.