Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, the U.S. 7th Fleet commander, visits crew members aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), Jan 9, 2018, during a waterfront visit to forward deployed naval forces operating out of Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan. Sawyer made the visit to Sasebo to thank the crews for their hard work as well as to hear directly from the crews operating in the 7th Fleet. (Photo by (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Galbreath))
SASEBO, Japan -- Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visited Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan to meet with forward deployed naval forces and to hear directly from Sailors and leaders under his command, Jan. 9.
Sawyer visited USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and USS Ashland (LSD 48) and addressed the crews over the 1MC shipboard announcing system.
“7th Fleet and I are extremely impressed with your team’s ability,” said Sawyer during his address to the crew on Wasp. “It’s a testament of what we do right in the United States Navy along with all the branches of the armed forces. So I'm wishing you, along with our brothers and sisters in the Marine Corps, the best of luck and Semper Fi!”
To the crew on Ashland, Sawyer said, “I’m truly impressed with this team’s ability to handle everything your Navy and your country asked of you over the last year. You really did phenomenal work.”
While abroad each ship, Sawyer also hosted a triad call with senior leadership, toured the ships, and met with Sailors who were singled out for their accomplishments over the last year. Sawyer presented these Sailors with his congratulations and a special gift.
“His personal coin he presented me is an inspiration and a constant reminder of the hard work and dedication it takes to be part of the Green Bay team,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Priscilla M. Bailey, Green Bay’s Senior Sailor of the Year. “I hope to one day be as inspiring to my junior sailors as he is to me.”
Sawyer also made an office call at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Sasebo District Headquarters with Vice Adm. Satoshi Kikuchi, the commandant of Sasebo District Headquarters.
“Our relationship with Yokosuka District Headquarters is very close,” said Sawyer. “I am so pleased to hear that the relationship between Fleet Activities Sasebo and Sasebo District Headquarters is strong as well. We’re very appreciative of the warm welcome we receive as guests in Japan.”
Sawyer also hosted a commanders’ round table and working lunch with the commanders and command master chiefs of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet (CTF 76), Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 7, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11, Wasp, Green Bay, USS Germantown (LSD 42), Ashland, and Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7.
Seventh Fleet, which celebrated its 75th year in 2018, is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet. It provides security in an area of operations that spans more than 124 million square kilometers with 50-70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft and approximately 20,000 Sailors.