FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Eight Submarine Group 7 (CSG 7) Sailors and 14 Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Fleet Submarine Force Sailors climbed Mt. Fuji Aug. 6-7 strengthening their bonds.
"We share a very close relationship with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Fleet Submarine Force," said Rear Adm. Stuart Munsch, commander, Submarine Group 7. "Whether cruising the deep aboard one of the newest Japanese Submarines, Japan Ship Zuiry, exchanging office calls, coordinating submarine operations and exercises, or sharing the experience of climbing Mt. Fuji, the Fleet Submarine Force has been a strong friend and partner."
The climb brought the two staffs together to conquer the 12,395 foot mountain, Japan's tallest, and in the process improve the teamwork and interpersonal relationships they use each day.
"Climbing Mt. Fuji with my counterpart, Vice Adm. Kaji, commander, JMSDF Fleet Submarine Force, and members of our staffs, was a physical demonstration of the teamwork and close collaboration I see on a daily basis," said Munsch. "This climb will be a cherished memory of my time in Japan, made even more special by climbing with such close friends and partners."
The climb took place over two days, with the group stopping for a few hours rest at a rustic hut, high on the mountain. The climb started again at 2 a.m. to ensure the group reached the summit in time for sunrise.
"The weather was perfect," said Lt. Melissa Pelosi, a CSG-7 theater anti-submarine warfare watch officer. "So was the view on the way down; it was awesome."
The group made it safely to the top and back down, but it was not easy.
"I had a little trouble with the altitude on the way up," said Pelosi. "One of the JMSDF Sailors, who had climbed 13 or 14 times, was very helpful; making sure I was taking my time, telling me to take breaks and get stamps on my hiking stick."
Despite the trouble, Pelosi had this to say about the experience.
"I think it was worth it and something people should experience."
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