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Sasebo-Based Minesweeper Sailors Clean Up Brunei Beach

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070503-08
Release Date: 5/3/2007 4:58:00 PM

By Chief Electrician's Mate (SW) Noel B. Corneja, USS Patriot Public Affairs

MUARA, Brunei (NNS) -- As part of what was just an overnight stop for fuel and replenishment, Sailors of two Sasebo, Japan-based mine countermeasures ships conducted a beach cleanup April 30.

About 30 Sailors from USS Guardian (MCM 5) and USS Patriot (MCM 7) picked up plastic, styrofoam and other debris from Brunei’s scenic Serasa Beach.

Serasa Beach is a favorite spot for many Brunei residents, particularly families, who enjoy the spectacular view of the nearby mountains of Sarawak surrounded by patches of clouds.

Because the beach is such a special place for the Brunei community, the minesweeper volunteers were even more motivated to make a difference and give the beach a cleaner look.

Right from the start, Sailors went to work clearing the parking lot, which was littered with plastic materials, empty lunch boxes and plastic bags. Driftwood and large logs that were swept ashore covered most of the north side of the beach.

Sailors brought out large plastic bags and formed a line similar to a foreign object debris (FOD) walk down aboard a ship. In less than an hour the area was litter-free and clean.

“The volunteers did a great job,” said Chief Damage Controlman (SW) Richard D. Carlon, Patriot’s maintenance material management (3-M) coordinator. “I never expected that we could finish it this quick. Everyone did a little something and there it is, the end product was great. This also builds camaraderie amongst the two ships.”

Mineman 1st Class (SW) Sean W. Silman led the Guardian volunteers and was pleased with how everyone worked together to complete the cleaning.

“Great activity for all of us. We made it happen,” said Silman. “It feels great to see the place cleaned up. Now you can take photos in any angle you want, most of the obstructions and scattered plastic materials are off the roadside. I wish I can stay more and enjoy a late afternoon walk here. The place is just simply too beautiful to describe.”

Lt. Cmdr. Tom Shultz, Patriot’s commanding officer, was happy with the results of the efforts.

“It turned out to be just a perfect day,” said Shultz. “After pulling into port and getting the required fuel and food stores on board, heading to the beach to help the environment and then just unwind a little, was the perfect answer after our nine-day transit. It’s just really another example of just how much a U.S. Navy Sailor gives on a daily basis.”

Patriot and Guardian -- with embarked Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Detachment 51 -- are currently on a long-term deployment in Southeast Asia to support the U.S. 7th Fleet’s interoperability and training commitments in mine neutralization warfare and maritime operations. Patriot and Guardian serve under Task Force 76, based out of Okinawa, Japan with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.

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