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Safeguard Divers Train Hosts, Celebrate Birthday

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050825-05
Release Date: 8/25/2005 9:52:00 AM

By Journalist 2nd Class (SW) Brian P. Biller, USS Harpers Ferry Public Affairs

SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- Divers from Philippine Navy special forces and Underwater Construction Team (UCT) received instruction and training aboard USS Safeguard (ARS 50) from divers aboard the rescue and salvage ship shortly after the ship celebrated its 10th birthday Aug. 17.

Part of the Philippines phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005, divers made indoctrination dives and were instructed on U.S. Navy equipment and procedures.

“We enjoy coming out here and working with the foreign navies,” said dive locker Leading Chief Petty Officer, Chief Hull Maintenance Technician (DV/SW) Clifford B. Morin. “This is our last stop, and we’ve kinda got a process down,” he added.

Morin explained that they try to get some of their more junior divers an opportunity to act as instructors, teaching proper donning and use of the Mk-21 helmet, as well as safety procedures and signals.

“They appreciate the instruction, so it makes it that much more rewarding,” Morin added, speaking of his Philippine counterparts. “It’s generally a good time. It’s camaraderie between the services,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Safeguard Master Diver, Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate (SW/MDV) Jeffrey T. Sampson, a plankowner and now on his third tour aboard Safeguard, cut a birthday cake together with the youngest member of the ship’s crew, and spoke to the crew about the ship’s commissioning and first cruise.

“It was a nice celebration,” said Safeguard Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Doyle K. Hodges.

Safeguard Sailors passed down knowledge, from dive operations to ship’s history, and found time to make more friends for another phase of CARAT - ones they’ll hopefully foster relationships with for years to come.

CARAT is an annual bilateral series of military exercises with several Southeast Asia nations. The exercise is designed to enhance the interoperability of the respective sea services in variety of mission areas of mutual benefit.

Safeguard, with a crew of approximately 100, is forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan, and is part of a four-ship U.S. Navy task group taking part in CARAT Philippines.


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