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Patriot Receives Personnel Support in Okinawa Pit Stop

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070628-06
Release Date: 6/28/2007 8:39:00 AM

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

OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Patriot (MCM 7) and USS Guardian (MCM 5), avenger-class mine countermeasures ships, moored at White Beach U.S. Naval Facility, Okinawa on June 22, their last port visit before returning to their forward-deployed home of Sasebo.

The stop was made for rest and recreation, provisions and personnel support. A similar stop was made at outset of the ships’ multi-month deployment back in April.

Besides the downtime for the crew and resupply of the ship, Patriot Sailors were able to handle some needed administrative items. Fleet Activities Okinawa Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) at Kadena Air Force Base extended its working hours for an emergent ID issuance.

Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Leon Timothee assisted the two Patriot Sailors bringing up the system to issue the lost ID card replacement.

“We don’t have any problem extending our services to the fleet, especially small ships like Patriot that do not have the capabilities for ID card replacement. If the fleets have the needs then we take care of the service,” said Timothee who has been working at PSD Kadena for only three months.

Patriot Sailors were grateful to get the service.

“The service is fast and we don’t have to wait and they actually kept the office open just to take care and cater our administrative needs; both civilians and military personnel are courteous and very service oriented. I've never seen personnel service this swift before, it’s just beyond compare from any personnel support I’ve ever seen,” said Electrician's Mate 3rd Class (SW) Philip K. Joo of Patriot Engineering Department.

Personnel support for deployed troops and their dependents is crucial for the success of the mission. The office is not only for the staff support, but also to process transient personnel and permanent change of station for service members and their families. This particular office is considered to be one of the busiest offices of the forward-deployed components and fleet support in the Pacific region mainly warships from the 7th Fleet. PSD Kadena wins the respect and praise from sea-going customers as the top rated if not one of the best in the Navy in customer relations and service.

“Being a small ship, we know that we don’t have every capability, so we rely on our supporting shore assets to fill the gap,” said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas E. Shultz, Patriot commanding officer. “A big Bravo-Zulu and thank you goes to PSD Okinawa.”

Okinawa is the headquarters for Commander Task Force (CTF) 76 and the primary deployment hub for Marine Expeditionary Units needed to sustain amphibious operations including transportation of military and expeditionary hardware. This island has been the major source of supply for all military services in their effort to stay operationally ready to fight the global war on terrorism.

Both mine sweeper ships serve under Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. Task Force 76 is based in Okinawa with an operating detachment in Sasebo.

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