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Patriot's Senior Enlisted Exchange Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070912-09
Release Date: 9/12/2007 12:31:00 PM

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

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- The Senior Enlisted Advisor (SEA) of Mine countermeasures ship USS Patriot (MCM 7) turned over his leadership role on Sept. 7.

Senior Chief Mineman (SW) Edgar L. Butler, passed his cutlass of leadership to Senior Chief Gunner's Mate (SW) Brent H. Tidwell when his term as the top enlisted aboard the Patriot.

The turnover process went smoothly as the two enlisted leaders discussed the command climate in the confines of the Chief Petty Officers Mess. After initially meeting with all chief petty officers aboard, Tidwell is now meeting with the rest of the crew to discuss productive and intrusive leadership throughout the chain of command.

Butler had only a positive feeling about his team as the SEA.

“It was an outstanding period [serving] as SEA of this ship. I cannot ask for a harder working or better crew in the entire fleet. The commanding officer was very supportive during my tenure, and I always received the help I needed from the chain of command and crew,” said Butler, who will remain onboard Patriot until his regular tour is over in April 2008.

Tidwell received his orders to Patriot while at Officer Training Command, R.I.

“Within my first 72 hours onboard Patriot, I cannot ask for more,” said Tidwell. “The family support group was phenomenal and the sponsorship program was second to none. Everything I needed was taken care of even before I arrived. And now after seeing this ship and crew, I feel like the luckiest person on the waterfront right now.”

“The Senior Enlisted Advisor is an extremely critical position onboard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tom Shultz, commanding officer of Patriot. “As part of the shipboard leadership triad [CO, XO, and SEA], the SEA is the one person onboard that truly has the pulse of the crew. And the breadth and experience that the SEA brings to the table is a key part to every command decision.

"I cannot say enough on how much Senior Chief Butler helped me, but more importantly, how he helped this crew come together as one team. We welcome Senior Chief Tidwell and know he will continue to excel where Senior Chief Butler left off.”

Tidwell had his first experience of getting underway as USS Patriot sailed and left Sasebo for a three-day refresher underway to train a number of new crew members on basic seamanship, damage control and engineering evolutions and drills.

“This is my first mine countermeasure ship and I am keyed up to this underway since the majority of my previous ships were guided-missile cruisers,” he said. “I am eager to experience being underway and look forward to the productive training that we have planned,”

The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship is forward deployed to Sasebo. It serves under Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo.

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