BY SKY M. LARON, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER YOKOSUKA
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JMSDF Command Master Chief Masaki Kobayashi, Command Master Chief, JS Izumo, explains the operational responsibilities and the routine of life at sea aboard the JS Izumo (DDH 183) in Yokosuka, Japan.
U.S. Navy Sailors from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka were the first American service members to be welcomed aboard the JS Izumo (DDH 183), the largest Japanese naval ship built since World War II, homeported in Yokosuka, Japan April 30.
The Sailors visited their counterparts in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) aboard JS Izumo as part of a bi-lateral engagement between the two nations.
The 248-meter long JS Izumo is a helicopter destroyer that was commissioned March 25 and displaces approximately 20,000 tons with a capability to operate multiple helicopters and equipped with the most modern combat and information systems. JS Izumo is Japan’s largest self-defense ship and will serve in a wide range of roles including peace keeping operations, international disaster relief and aid missions.
“On behalf of the officers and crew of JS Izumo (DDH 183), we wish to extend a warm welcome to our guests aboard the largest and most sophisticated destroyer in JMSDF,” said Capt. Atsushi Yoshino, commanding officer, JS Izumo.
The approximately 40 U.S. Sailors from NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka who took part in the event where first class petty officers and chief petty officers who comprise the command’s Chief Petty Officer (CPO) 365 team, which has a deep rooted mission in developing strong Navy leaders. CPO 365, is a yearlong leadership development and training program to build and develop chief petty officers.
“We were honored in taking a tour of their newest ship; the JS Izumo is an amazing ship and our two militaries share a fantastic relationship,” said Command Master Chief Ed Purdy, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka. “Having representatives of the Japanese Supply enlisted leadership taking part in our CPO 365 is just one of the many examples of the great relationship that we share.”
The U.S. enlisted leaders met with members of not only the JMSDF but also senior enlisted leaders from the other Japanese service branches who were in attendance.
“We have always had a good relationship with the U.S. Navy, so this event was very natural for us and we would love to continue visits like this in the future,” said Command Master Chief Masaki K obayashi, JS Izumo.
While aboard the ship U.S. Sailors visited the flight deck, helo control tower, bridge and ready room as well as the living spaces. Many of the U.S. Sailors felt the event benefited them personally and professionally as well.
“This trip helped me gain knowledge of the jobs and responsibilities of my host country counterpart,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Rodway Mccloggan, a NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka CPO 365 team member as well as a key leader of Postal Operations at the Yokosuka Post Office. “It was overall a great experience to see the differences and similarities between our ships.”
Kobayashi added that, “most of us live together in this city of Yokosuka but we don’t have the opportunity to visit one another, so I believe this event was a very good cultural exchange.”