USS John S. McCain Strengthens Relations with Japan Through Goodwill Port Visit

Story Number: NNS141124-09Release Date: 11/24/2014 10:22:00 AM
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By Ensign Aaron Van Driessche, USS John S. McCain Public Affairs

MAIZURU, Japan (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) arrived in Maizuru, Japan, for a goodwill and friendship building port visit, Nov. 21.

"The crew always looks forward to visiting and experiencing new places in Japan." said Cmdr. Chase Sargeant, John S. McCain's commanding officer. "This visit provides invaluable interaction with our counterparts in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Our Alliance may serve as the structure to our two countries' relationship, but it is the personal interaction, like afforded by this port visit to Maizuru, that truly builds the real understanding and appreciation of each other's cultures and navies."

During the port visit, the ship's crew plans to foster international relationships through friendly interactions including a joint beach clean up project with Japanese sailors and sporting competitions with the local little league.

"We are all really looking forward to Maizuru" said Lt. j.g. Jathan Davis from North Chicago, Illinois. "Not many of our Sailors have made it this far south in Japan. We have the perfect opportunity now to represent America to a new culture, and ultimately, a new friendship."

Fostering relations with allies through friendly community interactions in port is part of America's maritime strategy to build a joint coalition force of allies capable of ensuring maritime security.

John S. McCain is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, a key element to 7th Fleet, the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with approximately 60 ships, 250 aircraft and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

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