Patriots Landing: Helping Sailors Adjust to Ship, Japan Life

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo Guzman

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Dec. 17, 2012) – Patriots Landing prepares all new check-ins to the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) for life in Japan and the forward-deployed naval forces.

Patriots Landing, located at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), is George Washington’s three-week course that provides training and area orientation that more than 1,200 newly-reporting Sailors must complete before checking aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

“Patriots Landing is the initial indoctrination for George Washington,” said Chief Cryptologic Technician Collection Branden Drake, leading chief petty officer in charge of Patriots Landing. “We have a myriad of representatives who come from the ship and CFAY, who introduce the Sailors to ship board life, recreational services and liberty programs.”

During the course, instructors re-emphasize the importance of basic maintenance, ship rules and regulations, material and management, and basic damage control.

“[Patriots Landing] is everyone’s first stop before reporting to George Washington,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Rogers Goetz, an instructor at Patriots Landing. “We help Sailors get basic qualifications and any paperwork needed to check into the ship. We have people from legal and the ship’s chaplains come to talk about the services provided and have the executive officer come in to talk about Sailors expectations and ship regulations.”

In addition to ship board life, Patriots Landing also provides an introduction to Japanese culture, area orientation and a tour of local districts.

“Sailors are scheduled for a week of area orientation and inter-cultural relations briefs in the base’s fleet and family service center,” said Goetz. “Civilians come in and speak about services on base and provide them a tour of Kamakura, so they get a good grasp of what life is like in Japan.”

During this period, Sailors still follow a strict schedule that includes physical training, grooming, and the U.S. Navy’s and forward-deployed command policies.

“We’re trying to set our Sailors for success because that’s our plan,” said Drake. “During Friday musters, we try to line out things for our Sailors to do. We try to re-enforce the fact that drinking is not the catch-all thing to do in Japan; if one listens to what we’re saying and obey the rules, Japan and the seventh fleet area of operations is a wonderful place to be stationed.”

George Washington returned to it forward-operating location of Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka from its 2012 patrol on Nov. 20. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

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