USS Safeguard Completes TOWEX with JDS Amakusa

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
USS Safeguard (ARS 50) conducted a towing exercise March 15 in the Sea of Japan, working with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Ship JS Amakusa (AMS 4303). The two ships conducted the operations to increase proficiency in towing, and build stronger ties with one another through joint training. “The Safeguard and Amakusa share towing as one of their primary missions, so the opportunity to go out and train [together] strengthens us both,” said Safeguard Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Doyle K. Hodges. While towing, the lead ship would conduct maneuvering exercises giving each ship the opportunity to learn about the challenges involved in towing and being towed. Universal communication methods were used to complete the evolutions.

“This builds better communication, understanding, and procedures by working together,” said Hodges. Safeguard and Amakusa sent lines to each other until they were able to send a large enough line to sustain the weight of the other ship. The lines were then attached to the anchor chain of the ship being towed and used to pull the ship though the water. Towing a ship falls under one mission range of Safeguard, which is a rescue and salvage ship.

“The primary goal in conducting (this) is to exercise the ship's [crews] and the ship handling and procedures involved in towing and being towed,” said Hodges. Safeguard is a rescue and salvage ship of Amphibious Forces 7th Fleet, operating out of Sasebo, Japan; which serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Didier, Public Affairs Center Detachment Sasebo

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