Japanese, US Submariners Reach New Heights

Japanese, US Submariners Reach New Heights

Sailors from Commander, Submarine Group 7 (CSG7) along with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Commander, Fleet Submarine Force (CFSF) sailors climbed to the summit of Japan’s Mt. Fuji July 10-11.

The event, organized by CSG 7 Lt. Daniel Huynh and Lt. Benjamin Sacramento, was a staff engagement with the purpose of developing professional relationships and team work between CSG 7 and JMSDF CFSF.

The two-day climb started from Mt. Fuji’s 7,562-foot-high Kawaguchi 5th station. From there, the group began their climb toward the summit located approximately 12,388 feet above sea level.

The group was led by Lt. Cmdr. John Roussakies and his Japanese counterpart Cmdr. Misato Watanabe. They looked after the group and ensured everyone made it to the top and back safely.

For the majority of the participants, this ascent marked their first try at summiting Mount Fuji.

Halfway to the top, the group stopped for a rest at Mt. Fuji 8th station. There, the group ate dinner and slept. The following morning, they woke up early and continued the climb reaching the summit just before sunrise.

“The most difficult part was getting used to the high altitude and weather changes,” said Roussakies. “There was a big difference in weather. It was 70 degrees at 5th station and 39 degrees at the top.”

At the summit, the group spent about 45 minutes enjoying a meal and taking photographs before beginning their descent.

“Both days were clear. It was hard to describe the view. You could see for miles and miles,” said Roussakies.

The event was a veritable show of camaraderie between the two forces.

“Amongst submariners, we have similar experiences and sea stories,” said Roussakies. “You can communicate with each other based upon that common bond.”

“The climb allowed us to interact in a social environment and relate to each other outside of the workplace,” said Sacramento. It helped us to build a stronger bond between the two navies and peoples, and enjoy the close relationship that we have.”

Press Release, July 16, 2013; Image: US Navy