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Commander ESG 7 Visits Tortuga After Spring Patrol

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070423-17
Release Date: 4/23/2007 4:54:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon A. Myrick, USS Tortuga Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Carol M. Pottenger, Commander, U.S. Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, came aboard dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) April 17 for a visit and to personally deliver a congratulatory "Bravo Zulu" to the crew for its work as part of Spring Patrol 2007.

Pottenger wanted to hear directly from Tortuga Sailors as she ate lunch with them and met with select members from every pay grade in a series of group and personal meetings.

Throughout the visit, she emphasized the operational necessity of the forward-deployed amphibious Navy. She also touched on the personal development of Sailors including family readiness, Navy College Program for Afloat College Education classes and the Thrift Savings Plan.

“This forward-deployed environment is very demanding and I am not only concerned with Sailors accomplishing the mission, but with professional development and personal growth as well,” said Pottenger.

Tortuga returned from training engagements in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility just prior to Pottenger’s visit. Despite the strenuous operations, Pottenger said a high morale, enthusiasm and pride was visible among Tortuga Sailors.

“I am very proud of Tortuga and impressed about the teamwork the crew demonstrates,” said Pottenger.

During her time aboard Tortuga, Pottenger got the chance to take a look at the murals recently designed for a contest and also witness a speed bag demonstration from Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Anthony Seay, one of Tortugas best speed baggers who recently returned from competing in the All Navy boxing competition.

“I believe it was a good way to show [Rear] Adm. Pottenger Tortuga pride and team spirit that we have on board,” said Seay.

During the open hands call, many Tortuga Sailors took turns asking Pottenger a number of questions ranging from retention to advancement.

“I asked a few questions and found [Rear] Adm. Pottinger to be very personable and easy to talk to,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Stacey Williams. “I received a lot of information and found the visit to be motivating.”

It also gave Tortuga a chance for Sailors to ask questions about operational readiness as well as personal and family questions back on the home front.

“I appreciated hearing those encouraging words and answering all of our questions,” said Seaman John Otoski. “Giving this kind of advice and hearing it from an admiral helps keep motivation going to perform in such a demanding environment.”

The visit lasted throughout the day and gave both the Sailors and Pottenger time to get to know one another on a level not usually seen on Tortuga.

“I am very pleased with the all hands call and proud of the crew here on Tortuga for making the admiral’s visit meaningful,” said Commanding Officer Cmdr. Todd A. Lewis. “It was a great opportunity to show off the ship and the great things happening on Tortuga.”

Tortuga is a dock landing ship serving under Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7/Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. ESG 7/Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo.

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