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Ogden Pays Kodiak a Visit

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050818-07
Release Date: 8/18/2005 12:56:00 PM

By Journalist 3rd Class Chris Gethings, Alaskan Shield/Northern Edge '05 Public Affairs

KODIAK, Alaska (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines stationed aboard USS Ogden (LPD 5) spent a couple days enjoying the sights and sounds of Kodiak, Alaska, during a scheduled port visit in August while participating in exercise Alaskan Shield/Northern Edge ’05.

The exercise is a U.S. Northern Command exercise conducted with military, state and local agencies and focuses on homeland security actions in and around the state of Alaska.

Sailors and Marines on board the San Diego-based amphibious transport dock ship had a chance to get off the ship for a while and explore one of Alaska’s many island communities; Kodiak being one of the most remote, with only air and sea access.

“The weather is absolutely wonderful here,” said Machinist's Mate Fireman Mike Keyrouse, of Ogden's engineering department. “It’s a nice change of scenery from what we’re used to in San Diego.”

Due to the nature of his job, Keyrouse remains busy with work even while the ship is in port, but said he enjoys the opportunity to get off the ship and explore new places.

“I love to travel, and having the chance to come to a place like Kodiak, Alaska, is wonderful,” added Keyrouse, a Phoenix, Ariz., native who has been in the Navy for about a year and a half. “If it weren’t for our participation in this exercise, I don’t think I would have ever visited this place.”

“We have a lot of guys on the ship who haven’t been out to sea yet,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Josh Mount, of Ogden’s operations department. “Northern Edge is a great opportunity to get them some training and give them a feel for what sea life is really like.”

Mount said the main activities on his agenda at Kodiak Island were fishing and exploring the island.

“The fishing here is great this time of year, and as soon as I wake up I’m headed out to the rivers,” Mount added.

The residents of Kodiak Island welcomed the Ogden Sailors with open arms and were very gracious hosts.

“This is a great community, and my friends and I feel very welcome here,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Jake Kuhn, of Ogden's deck department. “We met a couple of locals, and they took us out and showed us quite a bit of the town we wouldn’t have otherwise seen,” he said.

Ogden is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, state and local law enforcement and other first responders during the exercise to test joint compatibility. The maritime interdiction training scenarios include compliant and non-compliant boarding of various participating vessels. Guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59), frigate USS Crommelin (FFG 37) and various Coast Guard units are also participants in the joint exercise.

Alaskan Shield/Northern Edge ’05 is taking place Aug. 15-19. There will be simulated events in 21 communities from Barrow to Anchorage and from Unalaska to Ketchikan testing the integration of at least 28 different agencies. Alaska is the only state to practice its emergency response capabilities at the national level biannually. Other states normally conduct this level of intense training every 7 to 10 years.


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