Home : Media : News : News Article View

USS Pioneer Arrives in Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan

By Lt.j.g. Alexander Fairbanks | USS PIONEER (MCM 9 | Oct. 18, 2019

UKI, KUMAMOTO, Japan -- The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9) arrived in Uki, Japan, for a port visit, October 18.

The Pioneer crew received a welcoming ceremony presented by local kindergarteners giving a musical performance on “wadaiko,” a type of traditional Japanese drums. The Uki City mayor, Kenshi Morita, was also there to welcome all the sailors to his city.

The captain and sailors gave a ship tour to the media and the mayor to showcase the capabilities of their ship and the strategic advantages of having an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship forward deployed to Japan. USS Pioneer’s visit to Uki City marks the first US Navy ship to ever visit the city. This goodwill port visit is part of the Navy’s effort in strengthening the United States of America’s relationship with Japan.

“This is going to be a unique experience for the crew to visit a Japanese city that has not had much interaction with the Navy like in Sasebo,” said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Wayland, commanding officer of Pioneer. “There should be some great opportunities to meet and interact with new people and experience new food. My crew will also be able to give back to the community during a beach day clean up.”

USS Pioneer will receive many visitors including the Kumamoto Japan-America Society, an organization that promotes friendly relations, mutual understanding and interchange between Kumamoto and the United States of America. Many of the sailors will also get the opportunity to see a country music festival, featuring both American and Japanese musicians.

“I have seen a lot of Japan and it will be great to go to a new city to experience any unique differences,” said Lt.j.g. Scott Sansing, the Main Propulsion Officer of Pioneer and a fluent Japanese speaker. “This is another opportunity to speak with people in that city and maybe even make new friends.”

Pioneer is part of Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 and is forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan. They are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of regional peace and stability.

Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Partners to Battle Malnutrition in Laos
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has completed phase one and two construction of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), officially turning over major portions of the 4.9 million dollar medical and educational facility to Lao Ministry of Health leads in a ribbon cutting ceremony today, Nov, 14, 2019. Pictured, Pacific Ocean Division Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Thomas Tickner (center) stands in front of the newly unveiled facility, standing alongside a senior Lao Ministry of Health official, whole holding a token of appreciation. To the right, U.S. Embassy in Laos Deputy Chief of Mission, Colin Crosby, poses with the group. The five-acre multi-purpose campus, includes collaboration with USACE, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), U.S. Agency for International Development, the Oregon Health and Science University, as well as with the Lao Ministry of Health, who maintains operation and maintenance of the facility. This is the largest Humanitarian Assistance construction joint effort funded by U.S. INDOPACOM.
Nov. 22, 2019 - VIENTIANE, Laos -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has completed phase one and two

In-Service Recruiter Helps Authenticate Dreams
Master Sgt. Lissy Singleton, Pacific Air Forces in-service recruiter, supports all Airmen assigned to Kunsan and Osan Air Bases in the Republic of Korea. Singleton recruits and assists separating Active-Duty members and informs them of the Air Force Reserve’s benefits.
Nov. 22, 2019 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Deciding your next phase in life can be a difficult decision to

U.S., U.K., Japan Navies Reaffirm Commitment to Increased Cooperation
Chief of Maritime Staff Adm. Hiroshi Yamamura, left, First Sea Lord Adm. Tony Radakin, and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday sign a Trilateral Head of Navy Joint Statement aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08). The trilateral cooperation agreement reaffirms the three countries’ commitment to increased collaboration and cooperation.
Nov. 21, 2019 - ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday joined First Sea Lord, United

HSC-25 Conducts MEDEVAC of Chinese Citizen at Sea
Sailors from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-25) the “Island Knights” perform a medical evacuation mission at sea from aboard a Hong Kong-flagged vessel for a Chinese national in medical distress in the vicinity of Guam, Nov, 20, 2019. HSC-25 provided life-saving medical care while transporting the patient to Guam Memorial Hospital. The “Island Knights” provide search-and-rescue, medical evacuation, and multi-mission capabilities to 7th Fleet area of operation.
Nov. 21, 2019 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The Guam-based “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron

B-52s Complete 19.5-hour Mission, Live-fire Training with Army in Hawaii
A UH-60 Black Hawk flares before landing with armed escort from an AH-64 Apache during infiltration operations for a Fire Support Coordination Exercise on Pohakuloa Training Area, located on the big island of Hawaii, November 12 through 21, 2019. During the exercise, members of the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron and U.S. Army Pacific 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, integrated with B-52 Stratofortress bombers for live-fire training missions in support of Indo-Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations
Nov. 21, 2019 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber aircrews