USS John S. McCain Gets Underway for Search and Rescue

Story Number: NNS110313-04Release Date: 3/13/2011 3:50:00 PM
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By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW) Talley Reeve

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) departed from Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka on March 12, to provide humanitarian assistance in support of earthquake and tsunami relief operations in Japan as directed.

"We had just pulled into Yokosuka when I got the word to head back out and proceed north. We're now part of the search and rescue operations taking place off of the coast of Japan," said Cmdr. Matt Lehman, commanding officer of John S. McCain.

"As a member of Destroyer Squadron 15 and the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, we'll be working side-by-side with USS Ronald Reagan and other Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ships, helping with any humanitarian operations that come up," he added.

McCain's mission involves using rigid-hull inflatable boats to search for anything adrift in the water and providing support for any helicopter operations by acting as a refueling station; an operation also known as "lily padding."

"I'm really proud of my guys," said Lehman. "We got the call late at night, right when we returned from an exercise and here we are again doing our thing. It's a real testament to the all the Sailors in the U.S. Navy that we can get underway in such a short period. I'm proud to be part of this operation and I know we'll do the best we can do and help everyone we can."

McCain along with the destroyers USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) will assist Japanese authorities off the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan to provide at-sea search and rescue recovery operations.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit

3/15/2011 10:34:00 PM
I am so proud of you all by reading this story.It brings back memories from the 1940s. American Service men helping their former enemies.I was born during WWII and my family received more unselfish help from guys like you, than I have ever seen. That's the reason I wanted to immigrate to the United States of America, which I did in 66. Thank you for this article and thank you all for serving my beloved America and helping those who need help in other parts of the world. May God always bless you.

3/15/2011 3:22:00 PM
I am praying for all the service personnel working in the area. Keep up the good work!

3/15/2011 3:10:00 PM
Tears in my eyes when looking at pictures of what our Navy is doing in Japan. Truly a "global force for good"!!

3/15/2011 8:38:00 AM
Great service by a ship with a proud name. Bravo Zulu.

3/14/2011 10:21:00 PM
I also am very proud of all the men and women who serving our nation with such professionalism and dedication. Please be safe and keep showing compassion for those people of Japan in need...God Bless America

3/14/2011 10:11:00 PM
Fortune, does indeed, Favor The Brave. Our prayers are with the entire crew of the McCain as you assist in humanitarian efforts. From the proud father of a McCain sailor.

3/14/2011 3:51:00 PM
We are more proud of you all every day and know that you are doing important work in the global force for good. Prayers for you and our navy and for all the people of Japan.

3/14/2011 2:28:00 PM
Another Bath-Built ship doing its job!

3/14/2011 1:24:00 PM
We are very proud of you guys, very nice job! Iím proud to be NAVY MOM. God blesses you all. Marcia Hartley

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