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Guardian Completes Cobra Gold 2007

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070529-14
Release Date: 5/29/2007 1:02:00 PM

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

SATTAHIP, Thailand (NNS) -- USS Guardian (MCM 5) completed a highly successful Cobra Gold 2007 alongside the Royal Thai Navy (RTN), in the waters near Sattahip, Thailand on May 17.

The 26th annual exercise was a testament to the maritime partnership between the United States and Thailand, as Guardian and RTN mine hunter Tha Din Daeng (MHC 634) demonstrated joint interoperability in simultaneously detecting and neutralizing simulated mines.

The training increased the proficiency of both nations’ abilities to preserve the freedom of the seas around a vital port, while also sustaining combat readiness in the field of mine countermeasures.

After the completion of the mine hunting exercises, which also involved the deployment of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, Detachment (Det.) 51, embarked aboard Guardian, all participating units were treated to some much deserved liberty.

The liberty was especially rewarding to the hard-working Sailors of Guardian, who had been honing their skills during the first month of their multi-month deployment in and around Southeast Asia.

While in Sattahip, the ship’s approximately 90 crew members had the opportunity to visit nearby Pattaya Beach and participate in numerous recreational activities available in the resort city.

On May 16, the senior military leadership behind Cobra Gold: including Gen. Kemarat Kanchanawat of the Royal Thai Army, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John F. Goodman, Commander, Marine Forces Pacific; Rear Adm. Boonchai Maripong, amphibious squadron commander for the RTN and commander of the Combined Naval Force (CNAVFOR) for the exercise; and Commander, Amphibious Force, 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Carol Pottenger, deputy CNAVFOR for the exercise, arrived to Chuk Samet Pier to visit Guardian. The distinguished guests, along with many others, were treated to an hour-long tour around the minesweeper.

“This year’s Cobra Gold was a major success, thanks in large part to the efforts of all the service men and women involved,” said Goodman. “But USS Guardian deserves a huge amount of the credit, as Guardian’s accomplishments at sea – in clearing the waters of all exercise mines and providing vital training to their Thai counterparts – are nothing short of spectacular. It is proof of the high standards of excellence set forth by Lt. Cmdr. DeMoss and his crew.”

After the tour, the guests were served lunch on board the minesweeper. Guardian’s culinary specialists worked diligently to make a delicious menu of traditional American cuisine, much appreciated by Goodman.

“Lt. Gen. Goodman was very pleased with the meal,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Jamal Williams. “He couldn’t stop praising our service and our cooking abilities – it was very gratifying to know that he genuinely enjoyed the food that we worked hard to prepare. It’s not everyday that we get to serve an O-9.”

Later in the evening, members of the Tha Din Daeng challenged the crew of the Guardian to a friendly game of soccer. The camaraderie shared on the playing field was a reflection of the previous week’s events.

Closely working side-by-side, the mine warfare specialists of the U.S. and Thai Navies demonstrated consummate professionalism in clearing their operating areas of all simulated dangers. Not only were valuable lessons learned during the extensive training opportunities of Cobra Gold, but numerous friendships were established between the Sailors of two Allied nations.

USS Patriot (MCM 7) and Guardian with embarked EODMU 5, Det. 51 are currently on a long-term deployment in Southeast Asia to support the 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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