SASEBO, Japan – The crew of the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Patriot (MCM 7) hosted a group of female students from the Nagasaki Women’s College for a tour of their ship, Sep. 23.
The event was organized by the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka and was the first time an invitation for a ship tour was issued to a school outside of Fukuoka.
“It was great to have the opportunity to have the young students on board and to show them what we do,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mathew Hollinger, Patriot’s executive officer who led the tour. “They had some very good questions and I am pleased that my crew was given the opportunity to show them the remarkable things they do on a smaller ship.”
Hollinger said the students asked about the mission of the ship in order to understand the role of the U.S. Navy in helping to ensure the safety of Japanese waters.
For many of the students it was their first interaction with the U.S. Navy and Patriot served as the platform to discuss surface warfare, the role of a minesweeper and naval traditions.
The young women were shown different areas of the ship as well as the equipment Patriot uses for mine countermeasure activities. The tour also included a brief on how all departments on board the ship work together to accomplish the mission.
“For some of the students it was easy to see that it was their first time on board an American naval vessel,” said Lt. j.g. Jose Jingco, Patriot’s combat information center officer who also helped with the tour. “They seemed very intrigued and were not shy to ask questions.”
Jingco said events like ship tours help to build a bond between the Navy and the local residents and help in the overall cultural exchange between American and Japanese cultures.
Patriot was commissioned in 1991 and has been homeported in Sasebo, Japan since 1994.