In this file photoe, Mineman 2nd Class Dana Baynard explains daily bridge operations aboard the mine countermeasures ship USS Avenger (MCM 1) to a tour group of Royal Malaysian Navy officers during a visit to Lumut Malaysia, May 18, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian A. Stone/)

PHILIPPINE SEA (July 16, 2011) - USS Avenger (MCM 1) and USS Guardian (MCM 5), both members of Task Force 76 (CTF 76) transited in the vicinity of Ishigaki, Japan, during the last leg of their Mine Warfare Maritime Partnership Deployment that began in Sasebo, Japan, on February 28, 2011.

Guardian and Avenger are moored in Japan for the first time since they began their 14,000 mile, 10 country tour of the Asia-Pacific region. They will train at and around White Beach Naval Installation in Okinawa before they continue on to Sasebo, their forward deployed home port.

Guardian began the Mine Warfare Maritime Partnership Deployment getting underway for Foal Eagle, in Pohang, Republic of Korea.

Guardian also visited Timor Leste, Darwin, Australia; Bali, Indonesia; and Surabaya, Indonesia; and participated in the Western Pacific MCM Exercise, out of Singapore, with 21 other participating countries, including Australia, Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea and Thailand, before pulling back in to Singapore for maintenance.

The crew of the Avenger took a different path through the region before joining with her fellow forward-deployed MCM in Singapore. After Foal Eagle, they went back to Sasebo where they completed a successful Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) inspection. After that, the ship got underway for Sepangar and Lumut, Malaysia.

Throughout the patrol, both crew participated in multiple partnership events with other navies and several cultural exchanges. The community service events that Avenger and Guardian were involved in aimed at creating meaningful interaction between Sailors and regional partner military and non-military personnel.

“We love giving back to communities like that,” said Mineman 1st Class Jeremy A. Frick, a crewmember aboard Guardian. “Whether it’s Darwin, Australia, or Sihanoukville, Cambodia, you just have to get involved.”

After a brief maintenance availability in Singapore, the crews of Avenger and Guardian steamed together to Pattya, Thailand; Chuk Samet, Thailand, Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Puerto Princesa, Republic of the Philippines; and Hong Kong.

During such a long deployment, the two crews found training a constant companion, and occasionally embarked training teams for certification while simultaneously supporting their deployment schedule. Their stop at White Beach will be more of the same: crew training and certification before returning to Sasebo.

Avenger and Guardian are a part of Mine Countermeasure Squadron (MCMRON) 7, assigned to CTF 76, and will return to their forward deployed port of Sasebo at the completion of their mine warfare maritime partnership deployment.