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Harpers Ferry Returns to Sasebo

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071010-03
Release Date: 10/10/2007 7:40:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jamie Hawkins, American Forces Network Det. Sasebo

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- The dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) returned to its forward-deployed home of Sasebo Sept. 26 after a five-month deployment in support of Commander, 7th Fleet operations.

“This five-month-plus deployment symbolized the essence of our mission here in 7th Fleet to enhance regional partnerships and interoperability between our militaries,” said Cmdr. David L. Bossert, Harpers Ferry’s commanding officer.

While on deployment Harpers Ferry participated in the annual exercise series Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2007, which is an annual series of bilateral maritime training exercises between the United States and six Southeast Asia nations designed to build relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces.

“The crew of Harpers Ferry performed superbly during this period, and I could not be more proud of them,” said Bossert.

In addition to CARAT’s military operations, Harpers Ferry took part in numerous community friendship building events as well as medical/dental projects.

“We trained with a number of countries, learned from each other, built relationships and also had a great chance to work alongside them to better their communities,” said Bossert.

When Harpers Ferry returned to Sasebo, they were greeted by family members and the community. For one Sailor, coming home to Sasebo was his opportunity to meet his newborn son for the first time.

“All I could think about for the last couple of days was this right here,” said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Leon Poulson IV as he held his new son. “We are blessed. I just want to get reacquainted with my family and spend some good quality time with my wife and my two boys."

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