YOKOSUKA, Japan (Nov. 22, 2016) – Students from Yokosuka Middle School and other Japanese and American civilian guests spent a day at sea while aboard the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG-67) Nov. 22.
Guests included family members, local friends of the crew, nearly 100 students from Yokosuka Middle School, teachers and chaperones.
“I am very proud of how well the Shiloh crew came together to make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our guests,” said Ens. Kelset Pulleyn, the event coordinator. “Seeing everyone work together to teach and inspire the next generation was very humbling for me. I’m glad everyone had fun and we were able to give back to our families, friends and our Middle School guests.”
The guests arrived at the base harbor in the cold, rainy, pre-dawn to embark the ship. The guests became quiet when they “All Hands prepare to get underway…All Hands secure for sea, I say again, All Hands secure for sea,” which was soon followed by, “Underway, shift colors!” signaling that the ship was no longer pier side. Once Shiloh was clear of the harbor, crewmembers began giving tours of the ship’s spaces.
The tour began with a history lesson, which included information about naval terminology, the Navy’s birthday, as well as a tour of the Wardroom.
Guests learned about the military’s phonetic alphabet while touring the Captain’s in-port cabin. Tour guides signed Personnel Qualification Standard (PQS) sheets as guests learned and passed off their newfound knowledge.
“I bet there is going to be a test on this in Mr. Duncan’s class,” said student Aubrey Patawaran, of San Francisco, Calif.
For lunch, Shiloh’s crew hosted a “Steel Beach Picnic” on the Flight Deck which included barbeque style foods as well as an ice cream social event for all of the guests.
The 7th Fleet Navy Band gave a memorable performance for the crew and guests throughout the cruise.
The guests also had an opportunity to see the Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm autocannon, as well as the Mk15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) during a live-fire event on board the ship.
“It [the CIWS] was loud and powerful, even with hearing protection. It made the whole ship shake,” said student Taiga Sherwood of Carson City, Nevada.
The “Warlords” of Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 51 performed a fly-by of the ship to display the capabilities of the regularly embarked squadron.
The students also played tug-of-war with Boatswains’ ropes on the flight deck.
Mrs. Karrie Anne Aycock, wife of Captain Adam Aycock, commanding officer of USS Shiloh, brought a special group aboard for the day, her Japanese tea ceremony colleagues.
One of the Japanese attendees was Takeshi Kimura of Yokohama, Japan, who said, “The missiles were very impressive. Most Japanese people do not know much about the U.S. Navy. This cruise gave us an excellent opportunity to learn about our allies.”
Shiloh’s families and guests concluded the day by receiving certificates which indicated that they were a qualified honorary Shiloh Sailor.
“We hope this will become a tradition so that each upcoming Shiloh 7th grader will get the wonderful opportunity to go on this delightful ship,” said student Gabrielle Romeo.
Shiloh is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.