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Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Visits Guardian

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070207-22
Release Date: 2/7/2007 2:55:00 PM

By Lt. j.g. Steve Peterson, USS Guardian Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The 45th commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Doug Crowder visited USS Guardian (MCM 5) Jan. 29 to get a first-hand look at one of only two U.S. Navy minesweepers forward-deployed to the Western Pacific.

Crowder spent his visit touring the ship’s spaces and interacting with the crew members. The enlisted Sailors were able to talk candidly with the 7th Fleet commander and explained to him what occurs during minesweeping operations and the role numerous ship systems play in various evolutions.

“This was a great opportunity for us to showcase what we do on a day-to-day basis,” said Mineman 3rd Class Tim Markham. “By having Vice Adm. Crowder tour the ship, he was able to see both our mission capabilities and our high level of mission readiness.”

Crowder assumed command of the U.S. 7th Fleet in September 2006. His area of responsibility primarily includes East and Southeast Asia.

Even with all of the ships currently under his command and even during a long and highly decorated career, it was only his second visit to a minesweeper.

Crowder was impressed with the minesweeper’s capability, the visit confirming to him the importance of a minesweeper in the region, he said.

“The forward-deployed minesweepers play an important role in our mission in the Western Pacific,” said Crowder. “This visit allowed me to better understand our mine warfare capabilities in 7th Fleet.”

Guardian crew members were glad to have been able to offer Crowder a close look into a minesweeping vessel.

“It was a real honor to have the 7th Fleet commander visit our ship,” said Mineman 1st Class (SW) Gerald Phipps. “[Seventh Fleet] is responsible for our nation’s maritime presence in the Asia-Pacific region; and now -- hopefully -- he has complete insight into what our ship contributes to his mission.”

Guardian is a mine countermeasures ship forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan. Guardian and USS Patriot (MCM 7) serve under Task Force 76, which serves as the 7th Fleet’s Mine Countermeasures arm in forward-deployed operations.

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