CFAY Port Ops Team Braves Typhoon to Keep Waterfront Safe

September 25, 2019 – Typhoon Faxai made landfall east of Tokyo bringing heavy rain and winds of 99 miles per hour to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) Sept. 9. The typhoon’s path passed directly over the base damaging cars, buildings, portions of a seawall, and uprooting multiple trees. Despite the damage to infrastructure, CFAY and the tenant commands sustained no injuries to personnel. As the typhoon made landfall, a team of Sailors from CFAY’s Port Operations were tasked with making routine rounds of the piers, ensuring piers were clear of…

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USS Blue Ridge Makes First Port Call in Nearly Five Years

February 7, 2019 – USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and embarked 7th Fleet staff arrived for their first port visit to Otaru, Japan, in nearly five years, Feb 8. The port visit is also Blue Ridge’s first since completing a two-year maintenance period. It reflects the enduring strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and 7th Fleet’s commitment to the Japanese people. During the welcoming ceremony 7th Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer expressed his deep appreciation for the opportunity to visit Otaru. ”This is a special port visit for USS Blue…

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USS Chief Pulls into Hakodate

USS Chief (MCM 14) pulled into Hakodate, Japan, July 14, for a goodwill port visit and training. Chief, an Avenger-class mine countermeasure ship, is crewed by roughly 90 Sailors. Port visits like this one gives the Sailors aboard an opportunity to interact with the people of Hakodate, who have not received a port visit from the U.S. Navy since 2016. “I have not been to Hakodate in ten years,” said Lt. Cdr. Frederick Crayton, Chief’s commanding officer. “I look forward to seeing how much the city has changed, and letting…

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Benfold Arrives in Guam

USS Benfold (DDG 65) arrived in Santa Rita, Guam, for a regularly scheduled port visit, June 5. “It’s always a pleasure to pull into Guam,” said Cmdr. Leroy Mitchell, Benfold’s commanding officer. “This is a chance for our Sailors to have the opportunity to experience the hospitality and culture in Guam and get some well-deserved rest and relaxation.” While in Guam, Sailors will be able to volunteer for community service projects and participate in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tours. “For some Sailors, it’ll be their first time [visiting Guam],”…

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USS Milius joins Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Japan

USS Milius (DDG 69) arrived at U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, to become part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in Japan, May 22. The arrival of Milius to the 7th Fleet adds another upgraded Aegis Baseline 9 destroyer to the waterfront in Yokosuka. “The crew has trained extremely hard to get the ship fully certified and ready for tasking,” said Milius commanding officer, Cmdr. Jennifer Pontius. “There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into getting a ship ready to forward deploy and to transition a crew…

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Ronald Reagan Returns to Yokosuka After Successful Sea Trials

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, May 17, after completing sea trials. The seven-day evolution measured the crew’s ability to operate critical systems and perform underway operational evolutions following an extensive selected restricted availability (SRA). “The ship performed remarkably well as we put her through the required steps,” said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “The crew’s training and preparation was a primary factor during all of the evolutions, and they should feel very good about the fact that they came in well-prepared and…

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USS Green Bay returns to Sasebo after patrol with 31st MEU

USS Green Bay (LPD 20) returned to Sasebo, Japan, after a successful patrol with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Indo-Pacific region, April 28. Green Bay, serving as the amphibious transport dock in the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group, completed all major events that were part of a pre-set Navy-Marine Corps interoperability and proficiency continuum, first a basic integration phase and then a final certification. Green Bay provided unique enabling capabilities to the ESG by hosting a boat company assigned under 1st Battalion, 1st Marines (1/1) and a detachment of…

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Bonhomme Richard Departs Sasebo for Modernization

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) departed Sasebo, Japan, April 18, capping six years of forward-deployed service in the Indo-Pacific. Bonhomme Richard has been the flagship of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet since April 2012, and will now transit to its new homeport in San Diego for follow-on operations and eventual upgrades to accommodate the F-35B Lightning II. During her time as the primary amphibious assault ship in 7th Fleet, Bonhomme Richard participated in a number of exercises such as Talisman Saber with the Australian Defense Force, and exchanges with partners such…

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How new Naval Surface Group Western Pacific will differ from Afloat Training Group

Following the string of at-sea accidents this year that involved U.S. Navy ships, criticism arose over the strenuous operational tempo of forward deployed ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Questions arose regarding training pitfalls, sleep cycles for watchstanders, and the general effectiveness to prepare ships for operations. Work has been diligently underway to devise strategies and programs, and amendments to Surface Force processes in order to reduce the risk of similar incidents and improve readiness in the future. One of these actions includes the creation of Naval Surface…

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