In this file photo, mine countermeasures ship USS Avenger (MCM 1) returns to its forward-deployed base at U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo March 9 after participating in Exercise Foal Eagle 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Doolin)

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) - Mine countermeasures ship USS Avenger (MCM 1) departed Sasebo, Japan, April 25 for a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of Commander Task Force 76.

Avenger recently completed a Navy Shipboard Inspection Survey (INSERV) and will begin its training cycle underway.

"We're very proud to have just completed INSERV, and we're excited to deploy in support of the 7th Fleet," said Ensign Harrison Yelverton, Avenger's electrical officer. "We are ready to show the world how capable our mine countermeasures force really is."

Avenger is forward-deployed to Sasebo in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet, which has doubled its mine countermeasure capability in the last two years, significantly increasing forward-presence in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

"It's great to be a warship ready for tasking in the world's most powerful Navy," said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick L. German, Avenger's commanding officer.

The deployment is Avenger's first since being forward-deployed to Sasebo.

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