USS George Washington, At Sea (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) hosted Japanese guests and command ombudsman for a daylight embark, Sept. 4.
Honorable Seijiro Kasama, mayor of Ayase, Japan; Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Tatsuya Futakawa, commander, Fleet Air Wing Four; and Capt. John Bushey, commanding officer, U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi were among the 22 guests who spent the day aboard George Washington.
"I would like to thank everyone for joining us while on patrol to observe how we operate at sea," said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. "Because of the great support we receive in the Yokosuka, Atsugi and Zama areas, we're able to operate very freely in this region."
The distinguished visitors joined the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier during its patrol of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to experience shipboard life and gain a general orientation of the ship's mission in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
"I would like to thank everyone for having me aboard," said Kasama. "Everyone has been very professional and I very much enjoyed my time on the ship."
The guests toured the ship's mess decks, navigation bridge, and even had the opportunity to observe flight operations during the visit.
"It was extremely impressive to witness aircraft launch and recovery operations," said Kasama.
George Washington recently departed its forward-operating location of Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Sept. 2, and is currently participating in carrier qualifications with its embarked airwing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.
"Today's visit is important because it exposes the people from Atsugi and surrounding areas to George Washington and CVW 5's operations at sea," said Bushey. "We're able to showcase how vital the squadron's training in Atsugi is to completing George Washington's mission."
According to Bushey, distinguished visitor embarks help guests understand operations between partner nations to enhance interoperability.
"It's important for the U.S. and Japan to continue to work together and build upon our alliance," said Bushey. "It shows our allies that we are ready to defend Japan if necessary and protect our combined interests in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations."
George Washington and CVW 5 provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.