Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Yokosuka Destroyer & Sasebo Minesweepers Make Naval History In Russia

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54)
Three U.S. 7th Fleet ships took part in the first minesweeping countermeasures operation exercise between the U.S. and Russian navies July 5. USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), commanded by Cmdr. John T. Lauer III, with USS Patriot (MCM 7) and USS Guardian (MCM 5) under Mine Countermeasures Division (MCD) 11 Commodore, Cmdr. Kurt E. Hedberg, participated in the bilateral training exercise between the two nations, and to observe the paving out and retrieving of the large magnetic cable used to neutralize assorted types of explosive mine ordnance. "It is a privilege for me to command a ship and to conduct such a military training exercise with Russian naval forces," said Lt. Cmdr. Richard Brawley, Patriot commanding officer. "I am very grateful that we started this first operation. It opened warm friendly relations and interaction between two great and strong nations. I never thought this could happen before." The three ships also visited Vladivostok, Russia, July 3-5 to celebrate the 145th anniversary celebration of the city, the Fourth of July, and to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony for Russian Sailors who sacrificed their lives in World War II. During the port visit, the American Sailors had the opportunity to tour a Russian Naval Ship while Russian Sailors, government officials and children from a local orphanage received tours of the U.S. Ships. Patriot and Guardian are mine countermeasures ships forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan. Curtis Wilbur is a guided-missile destroyer forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
USS Patriot (MCM 7)

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