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USS Safeguard Takes Mother Ship Role in Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050607-01
Release Date: 6/7/2005 12:19:00 PM

By Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Jason Tucker, USS Safeguard Public Affairs

ABOARD USS SAFEGUARD, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Safeguard (ARS 50) visited Changi and Sembawang, Singapore, May 5-15 to take part in exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) '05.

After setting sail from her forward operating base of Sasebo, Japan, April 21, Safeguard rendezvoused with USS Guardian (MCM 5) just outside of the Luzon Strait to escort the forward-deployed mine countermeasures ship to Thailand in support of Cobra Gold.

Both ships combined their schedules to get the maximum training out of the transit. Exercises included “leap frogs” in preparation for a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) operation with USNS Yukon (T-AO 202), radio-telephone drills, challenge–and-reply and visual communication drills. Safeguard usually travels independently, so it was a great opportunity to practice procedures and preparations for working with multiple ships during the CARAT exercise.

After passing the tip of Vietnam, Guardian detached and Safeguard proceeded to Singapore.

While in Singapore, the crew had a chance to experience some of the attractions that make Singapore one of the most interesting places in the world, such as the Night Safari Park. Many enjoyed the mixtures of food from many different countries, such as the Thai soups, Indonesian satay and Malaysian chili crab.

“I really enjoyed the interaction between the different cultures and the introduction to many of their local cuisines,” said Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Daniel R. Smith.

One of the highlights of the visit was the opportunity for crew members to do a community service project with the Singapore Girl Scouts of America. They hosted two troops for a tour of the ship, and the Girl Scouts brought enough cookies for each crew member to have their own box. The crew had a chance to teach them a little about the Navy’s history and the ship’s mission.

Safeguard deep-sea divers got together with Singapore Naval Diving Unit (NDU) personnel - many of whom had attended the U.S. Naval and Diving Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla. - for the first phase of CARAT in a combined exercise conducting combined scuba diving and side-scan sonar training. Safeguard divers also held classroom training on mixed-gas diving and salvage capabilities of their ship, and braved one of the NDU's confidence courses.

“I’m extremely pleased with the successful conduct of the in-port exercises, as well as with the way the crew responded to the need to offload some of our gear and load the specialized salvage from the Naval Sea Systems Command,” said Lt. Cmdr. Doyle K. Hodges, Safeguard commanding officer. “And as always, I’m proud of the fact that our crew behaved as ambassadors ashore.”

Safeguard is a forward-deployed rescue and salvage ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan, and is part of Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force.


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