In this file photo, USS Patriot (MCM 7) departs White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa earlier this year. (U.S. Navy/Lt. David Levy)

SASEBO, Japan -The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Patriot (MCM 7) departed Sasebo, Japan, July 2 for a routine patrol in U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

During the ship's patrol, Patriot will conduct a series of port visits throughout Japan and participate with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in a bilateral mine countermeasures training exercise.

"Our crew is excited to get underway and train alongside our Japanese counterparts in the vital mission area of mine warfare," said Lt. Cmdr. Emily Royse, commanding officer of Patriot. "We all recognize how important our alliance is with Japan and look forward to furthering that through our efforts in port and at sea."

Patriot is assigned to Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 7, forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan, in U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.