USS Germantown Sailing toward Sasebo in Japan

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tokyo - (PanOrient News) The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown is heading towards Sasebo base, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan for a long awaited hull swap with the Harpers Ferry after undergoing an extended yard period and back to back inspections, U.S. Navy said on Friday.

The aim of the replacement is to strengthen the function of forward-deployed amphibious forces, and is expected to formally begin operating from March, according to the Navy.

The Germantown had been deployed at the Sasebo base until the Harpers Ferry arrived there in August 2002.

After undergoing extensive repairs in the United States, the Germantown was deployed in the past to the Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Sasebo has been a Naval Port since the beginning of this century, first with the Japanese Imperial Navy and, since 1946, the American Navy. Today its harbor and shore facilities are shared by the U. S. Seventh Fleet and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.

In September of 1945, the U.S. Marine Corps Fifth Division landed at Sasebo, and in June 1946, U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo was established.

When war broke out in Korea three years later, Sasebo became the main launching point for United Nations and U.S. Forces. Millions of tons of ammunition, fuel, tanks, trucks and supplies flowed through Sasebo on their way to U.N. Forces in Korea.

Sasebo is located in the northwestern part of Kyushu, the southernmost of the four islands that comprise the main portion of Japan.

Kyushu is bordered on the southeast by the Philippine Sea, on the west by the East China Sea, and on its northwest side by the Korea (Tsushima) Strait, which connects the East China Sea with the Sea of Japan. Kyushu is separated from the Japanese islands of Shikoku and the much larger Honshu by the Inland Sea.

Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Navy

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