SUBIC BAY, Republic of the Philippines -- The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9) arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines, for a port visit, March 21.
Pioneer conducted mine countermeasures training in vicinity of Okinawa before proceeding to Subic Bay for its first port visit away from Japan in three years.
“Pioneer's port visit to Subic Bay is a breakthrough for her crew - for many of our Sailors, this will be their first overseas port visit,” Lt. Cmdr. Robert Wayland, commanding officer of the Pioneer. “After the hard work and success that the crew achieved while training within our primary mission specialty, it is extremely gratifying to see Pioneer sailing as part of the operational force.”
Master Chief Petty Officer Andrew Tyler, command master chief of the Pioneer, was happy to see his Sailors have the opportunity to see new places.
“There are Sailors that have been aboard for two or three years now,” said Tyler. “For everyone it will be a memorable port visit. The crew came together to make sure that we excelled and succeeded in all of our mission specialties and now their hard work making the ship mission ready is being recognized with the opportunity to visit the Philippines.”
While in Subic Bay, the crew will have the opportunity to volunteer for several community relation (COMREL) events, to include assisting disadvantaged school children.
“I’m really excited to be able to visit another country,” said Mineman Seaman Jonathan Swavel. “This will be my first port visit and I want to experience as much of the culture as possible. Plus, I hear the food is really good too. ”
Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) will be also providing a wide variety of activities for the Sailors to participate in, such as scuba diving, a safari park tour, and a tour of Camara and Capones islands and Anawangin cove.
Pioneer, part of Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response platform for contingency operations.