USS George Washington Hosts Japanese Guests Onboard
The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) hosted Japanese guests while at sea, Sept. 15.
The distinguished visitors were given a general orientation of an underway U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to better understand George Washington’s strategic mission in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
“We’re excited to have this group aboard,” said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. “This group represents the ministry of defense and the ministry of foreign affairs officials who are critical to the proper infrastructure support for our military in Japan. The ability to show what the meaning of U.S. forward-deployed presence means, which is carrier strike group operations while at sea is an important element of our engagement with the Japanese senior leadership.”
Masakazu Yamauchi, director general, Bureau of Local Cooperation (BLC), Ministry of Defense (MOD); and Takashi Hirai, Japan-U.S. Security Treaty Division, North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) were among the four distinguished visitors who spent the day aboard George Washington.
“First, I want to thank the U.S. Navy for their generosity to let me have such an experience,” said Yamauchi. “I was able to receive very beneficial explanation on operations aboard George Washington and I understand the importance of the role of George Washington as a deterrence to protect Japan.”
According to Yamauchi, George Washington seems like a small town with the amount of Sailors he saw working on board.
“After actually observing the take-off and landing of the aircraft and seeing how difficult this job is, I want to thank the U.S. forces for doing their job and training hard,” said Yamauchi. “If it is possible to have more local Japanese citizens get a similar experience, maybe they will be able to expand their knowledge in the importance of our alliance, U.S. 7th Fleet and George Washington.”
According to Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington’s commanding officer, giving tours to the Japanese provides George Washington with an opportunity to share the crew’s story of teamwork that is exhibited across the ship, and the crew’s contribution to the U.S. and Japanese alliance.
“[These tours] give our allies the chance to go back and say they have seen the capabilities that are brought forth by having an aircraft carrier forward-deployed,” said Fenton. “The most positive thing is the opportunity for our allies to take our story back, and share it with their partners and people they work with.”
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Press Release, September 17, 2013; Image: Navy