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    Submarine Unit Reservists excel in Yokosuka, Japan

    Faces of the Deep

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Litzenberger | YOKOSUKA, Japan (March 14, 2019) Lt. Cmdr. Alan Kuei, from Fremont, California, a...... read more read more

    YOKOSUKA, Japan—Reserve submarine officers, information technology specialists, intelligence specialists, fire control technicians and even yeomen routinely fly to Yokosuka, Japan and conduct their 2-week annual training to provide exercise and real-world support at Commander, Submarine Group 7 (CSG 7).

    During the most recent Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint Exercise (FST-J) Exercise Pacific Thunder, 11 reservists assigned to Commander, Submarine Forces Pacific Undersea Warfare Operations (UWO) of the Submarine Force Reserve Component reported to CSG 7 to man the exercise watch floor, refresh or gain new qualifications, and coordinate antisubmarine warfare operations through the use of a virtual environment designed to simulate at-sea conflict scenarios.

    “We support one 2-week exercise a year,” said Capt. Matt Harper, a native of Everett, Washington, and the commanding officer of UWO Portland, Oregon. “There’s a lot of enjoyment in doing that because the training I get during the year, I can actually use to support active duty operations.”

    Harper said he joined the Navy 24 years ago and qualified on USS Ohio (SSBN 726) in Bangor, Washington as a submarine officer in 1997. On Sept. 11, 2001 after a brief break in service, he decided to rejoin the Navy as a reservist. Harper stressed that his unit is always looking for ways to improve their contributions, such as annual leadership training, held every January, and monthly submarine operations training. Most of the reservists in his unit work for civilian companies and have a great deal of expertise.

    Harper said he is constantly impressed by their ability to balance unit expectations with family and civilian work life.

    “As a unit commanding officer, I get to lead some really amazing people, from E-4 all the way to O-5, in various submarine warfare rates and designators,” said Harper. “Each one of our Sailors has a completely independent civilian career, and our Sailors have an amazing diversity of skills. There are IT professionals, there are consultants, there are engineers, and there are finance professionals. There are even high school teachers. And they’re spread out all over the United States. The glue that binds us is the history and the love that we have for the Navy.”

    Coming to Japan to support CSG 7, however, is an experience that offers unique opportunities and challenges. “Japan is an important ally, and our nation benefits when we build relationships with our allies. I think it’s important for everyone in the Navy to experience a foreign country in the Indo Pacific theater at least once.”

    Although many of the reservists took in the sights and sounds of Tokyo, Yokohama and Kamakura during their visit to Japan, they gained the most satisfaction from their activities within the building.

    “My best experience here has been working with knowledgeable, friendly members that go out of their way to ensure the exercise mission is a success and teach reservists,” said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Khai Nguyen, from Arlington, Texas, a reserve database manager who spent his time here working on qualifications.

    “My best experience has been standing watch to grow professionally and learn new things,” said Lt. Cmdr. Alan Kuei, from Fremont, California, a reserve theater anti-submarine warfare watch officer.

    “I joined the Navy for travel opportunities, school, healthcare, and to support my family,” said Sonar Technician (Submarine) 2nd Class George Wallick, from Mesquite, Texas, a reserve database manager. “My best experience here has been integrating with my active duty counterparts and being welcomed to the command, despite the fact that I only drill here once a year.”

    Submarine Group 7 is comprised of submarines deployed to the Western Pacific and a permanent, forward-deployed fleet including the submarine tenders USS Frank Cable and USS Emory S. Land and four fast-attack nuclear submarines. Reservists make up approximately 20 percent of the Navy’s end strength.

    For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.



    Date Taken: 05.29.2019
    Date Posted: 05.29.2019 01:22
    Story ID: 324233
    Location: JP
    Hometown: ARLINGTON, TX, US
    Hometown: EVERETT, WA, US
    Hometown: FREMONT, CA, US
    Hometown: MESQUITE, TX, US

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