CORAL SEA (July 21, 2017) The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) patrols waters off the coast of Australia under a stars-lit night during Talisman Saber 17. Talisman Saber is a biennial U.S.-Australia bilateral exercise held off the coast of Australia meant to achieve interoperability and strengthen the U.S.-Australia alliance. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)
 USS Ashland Arrives in Yokosuka for Training-Focused Stop in Indo-Asia-Pacific Deployment

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship, USS Ashland (LSD 48), pulled into Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Oct. 2, for a training availability and to complete shipboard assessments and certifications.

More than 150 Ashland Sailors-a significant portion of the crew-will take part in over five different schools including General Shipboard Firefighting, Aircraft Firefighting, Command Managed Equal Opportunity and Security Reaction Force-B training. The ship will also conduct three major certifications to include Fleet Support Operations-Medical, 3-M and Supply 1.2 during the port visit.

"Training is vital to what we do," said Lt. Christopher Barmore, the training officer onboard Ashland. "The Sailors of Ashland have the opportunity in the coming weeks to get proficient in a number of areas needed to defend the ship and ensure its survivability in the event of a crisis. I'm confident that many Sailors will return from this period more ready and capable to stand watch on a day-to-day basis."

Ashland, based in Sasebo, would not normally have these particular training opportunities without incurring travel expenses to send Sailors to the schools offered in Yokosuka or other fleet concentration areas in the United States.

"It's much easier and cost effective to sail the ship to Yokosuka for the time allotted to capture that needed training and continue our mission," said Cmdr. Patrick German, Ashland's executive officer. "Our Sailors will greatly benefit from the schools offered here."

German said an additional benefit is that Afloat Training Group - Western Pacific, the team to conduct shipboard certifications, is also based in Yokosuka and will conduct several certifications during Ashland's time in port.

"Because Sailors doing the assessments are also here, it's a win," said German.

Ashland is operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency.

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