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Patriot Departs Cambodia after Training with Royal Cambodian Navy

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100223-04
Release Date: 2/23/2010 2:06:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Doolin, USS Patriot Public Affairs

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (NNS) -- Sailors from mine countermeasures ship USS Patriot (MCM 7) departed Cambodia Feb. 22 after a week of training with sailors from the Royal Cambodian Navy (RCN).

Training was conducted in the classroom, on the pier and at sea.

In the classroom, Patriot and RCN sailors sat side-by-side while the theory and practice of mine warfare was explained by Patriot crew members.

"I think this class is very, very good for Cambodian Navy, because Cambodian Navy, we want to know about clearing mine underwater," said Cmdr. In Sokhemra of the RCN.

RCN sailors also toured Patriot while pierside in Sihanoukville.

"The materials in the ship are very modern, and in every room everybody is on duty and they respect their own jobs," said RCN Lt. Tim Monipisey of the tour.

Damage-control training was conducted on the pier beside Patriot and involved both cooperative, hands-on demonstrations as well as Patriot Sailors demonstrating US Navy techniques.

"Very, very good training, guys are teaching the Cambodian Navy a lot of good points on the way we fight fires, and we're learning a lot from them also on how they apply their firefighting efforts," said Damage Controlman 1st Class Arturo Chavez, lead Patriot instructor.

Chavez also noted that the RCN sailors were attentive and eager students, "you can see it, everybody wants to put on a self contained breathing apparatus, everybody wants to see the emergency evacuation breathing device and they're all curious about the extinguisher and how it works."

"This training might save somebody's life, that's the whole point," noted Chavez.

Ten RCN sailors went underway with Patriot to observe a minesweeping drill, sonar operations, and a man-overboard recovery.

"It went well despite the language barrier. I think they understood the concept, and learned a few things today about how we do minesweep operations," said Chief Mineman William Brown of the minesweeping demonstration.

RCN Lt. Chum Horn agreed, "I think that this sort of minesweeping is a good technical demonstration on how to operate on the sea."

The week of training concluded with volleyball and soccer games between the Patriot and RCN sailors.

"It was an excellent game," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Bryan Docker. "According to the score, they're definitely much better than we are. It's obvious that they're well practiced, and I appreciate the fact that they schooled us."

RCN sailors won the soccer game 6-2.

Patriot is one of four mine-countermeasures ships permanently forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan. The crew reports to Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet. They are currently conducting their spring patrol throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

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