The rescue and salvage ship USS Safeguard (ARS 50) makes her way through the Java Sea en route to Surabaya, Indonesia for the fourth phase of the 2005 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise. Safeguard is part of a three-ship task group, including the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and guided missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) that will take part in CARAT Indonesia beginning July 25. CARAT is a regularly scheduled series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asia nations designed to enhance interoperability of the respective sea services. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Brian P. Biller (
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Joshua J. Wahl, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Sasebo, Japan
Underway” was announced for the last time on board USS Safeguard (ARS 50) as the ship completed an ammunition offload, July 25, in preparation for decommissioning and transfer to the Military Sealift Command in September.
Before the offload, ship’s crew and ordnance personnel combined efforts in counting the ammunition and completing required paperwork.
Prior planning enabled a smooth offload with no mishaps.
“I could not have been more proud and happy of what the crew did [today] and have done throughout the numerous operations this ship has completed,” said Lt. Cmdr. Doyle K. Hodges, commanding officer of Safeguard.
As Safeguard Sailors listened to the final “underway” called over the ship’s announcing system, many reminisced about serving on the last rescue and salvage ship in the Navy.
“I will miss my time here; it has been enjoyable, and I learned so much so much from the experience of being a part of this ship during our different exercises,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class John C. Bennett.
All members of the crew have received verbal or written orders to new commands and schools throughout the fleet.
“My last two years on the ship have been great. I’m getting ready take what I learned on the Safeguard forward with me to my new assignment,” said Damage Controlman Fireman (SW) Jose A. Vidal, who will stay in Sasebo and serve on the amphibious assault ship USS Essex
Equally sentimental as the last “underway” was the last call of “moored, shift colors.”
Safeguard and its crew will remain pierside and continue maintenance and preservation until Sept. 26 when it will become USNS Safeguard.
Safeguard is a forward-deployed rescue and salvage ship operating
out of Sasebo and is part of Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force.