USS Defender (MCM 2), a mine-counter measure ship, completed an important milestone by passing a three-day assessment of the ship’s condition and capabilities Jan. 14 in Sasebo, Japan.
The Board of Inspection and Survey conducted the congressionally-mandated inspection intended to ensure ships are properly equipped and ready for sustained combat operations at sea.
“We are very pleased with Defender’s results,” said Capt. David Chase, Commander Mine Counter Measures Squadron 2. “Navy commitment to the Avenger-class minesweepers, combined with adherence to high standards, ownership and self-assessment by the crews continue to pay dividends.”
During the assessment, Defender’s crew demonstrated the ship’s material condition and the ability to perform across a wide range of shipboard tasks and combat-related missions. Defender attained an overall grade of 100, the highest grade possible in mine-sweeping operations.
“Defender’s results demonstrate that the initiatives we have put in place are gaining traction and are moving the needles in the right direction,” said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “MCM readiness remains as one of my top priorities and with continued support from the Surface Warfare Enterprise, specifically, NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command) 21, PMS 495 and OPNAV N852, we will continue to aggressively develop plans that target the main propulsion, auxiliaries and mine hunting/neutralization readiness of the ships.”
“All of these efforts will ensure these ships reach and exceed their expected service life and keep MCM warfighting capacity where it is needed,” said Curtis.
Defender is one of two ships of the class that was heavy-lifted from Ingleside, Texas, in early 2009 and has been operating in 7th Fleet area of operations.
MCMs are forward deployed to meet the requirements of Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet from Bahrain and Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet from Sasebo, Japan. MCMs in San Diego support fleet exercises and homeland defense missions, as well as provide training platforms for the forward deploying rotational crews.