SASEBO, Japan (March 12, 2020) – The submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) departed Sasebo, Japan, March 7, after completing a two-week port call to assist in repairing Sasebo-based ships.
Although Land is a submarine tender, the ship is fully-equipped with machinery, supplies and a repair department to handle a variety of repairs and maintenance jobs for any tended ship.
Land’s hull repair (R-1) division production officer, Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Jason Hobson, said the expertise and capabilities Land and crew provided were much needed for the ships homeported in Sasebo.
“Our guys did an awesome job there. They rose to the challenge and stayed busy,” Hobson said, Land’s R-1 division production officer. “I’m very proud of all of them.”
Land’s crew completed approximately 150 repair jobs during their time in
Sasebo, to include welding, machining parts and fixing lagging.
“We did a lot of work in the machine shop and sheet metal shop, especially for the [mine countermeasures ships] (MCMs) and Naval Boat Unit 7,” said Land’s repair officer, Cmdr. Andrew Maurice. “We manufactured a lot, and we continue to manufacture because we’re not completely finished. It will all be shipped to them.”
Land’s mechanical repair (R-2) division machined thousands of parts and made numerous engravings. Although the crew said the jobs were fairly simple, the time involved meant much of the crew worked late into the evenings to get the mission accomplished.
“We did something like 3,500 engravings for the MCMs. This means doing something so tedious as typing in what they request, pressing play and watching the engraver do its job, but they don’t have that ability,” said Chief Machinist’s Mate Adam Yourtz, R-2 division production officer. “So, without us, they would not be able to get support. They were extremely grateful for the work that we put in as a repair department.”
Land’s crew also helped with several repairs for the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) as the ship was nearing the end of its shipyard availability period.
“It’s unique for the ships that are here, because they don’t have a lot of the support services that we can provide like lagging and sheet metal services,” said Hobson. “Everybody I talked to on the ships was extremely happy that we were there to help them out and do these jobs.”
Some of Land’s Sailors said this in-port period helped them gain more than the satisfaction of a job well done. Since much of the ship is operated by civilian mariners, who are responsible for navigation, engineering and maintenance of the ship, Sailors often do not get hands-on experience in their rating.
“When you’re on the Land, our Sailors are very specialized,” said Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Matt Kram, assigned to Land’s electrical/electronic repair (R-4) division. “We have people that are really good at repairing motors, but don’t know a whole lot about shipboard electrical distribution. So, it was a really good exchange of information.”
Land’s crew proved that even with a very short time period, they could do a lot to help support the fleet. According to Maurice, it’s an accomplishment they are very proud of.
“Our Sailors were happy,” he said. “They get to take the trade skills that they have learned, and they get to improve those skills.”