YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Lassen (DDG 82) welcomed Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West Aug. 31, during his visit to the forward-deployed Navy force, U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
West addressed crew members about off-duty risk management in regards to the upcoming Labor Day weekend and praised them for their integral role in the Invincible Spirit exercise with the Republic of Korea Navy. He also thanked the crew for maintaining high training standards, as assessed during the ship's recent Unit Level Training Readiness Assessment Sustainability (ULTRA-S).
"One of my biggest regrets since I've been in the Navy - I never did a tour in Japan," said West. "Coming on board here, having a little Navy chow, talking to the Sailors, that is what pumps me up! I love doing this. I feel very lucky to be your MCPON."
West answered Sailors questions and concerns about the Navy's future and efforts to be more energy efficient.
"We as a Navy are leading a lot of services in alternative energy, experimenting with different fuel mixtures and installing wind farms and solar panels on our bases to be able to go more green," said West.
Damage Controlman 2nd Class Linda C. Ogbah said it was nice to talk with the MCPON, interact with him in person and have the questions she had about the Navy answered.
"It is not every day you have the chance to meet with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy," Ogbah said. "We all welcomed his visit, but we were especially appreciative for his genuine interest in our feedback. Taking the time to come talk with us, that means a lot to me and my shipmates."
The visit to Lassen concluded the MCPON's trip to the 7th Fleet area of responsibly, which started Aug. 21 in Guam.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.