By Ensign Margaret Morton, USS Mustin Public Affairs
ISHIKARI, Japan (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) arrived in Ishikari for a port visit Feb. 6.
Mustin's arrival corresponds with the start of the 63rd Annual Snow Festival held in Sapporo. While in port, Mustin Sailors will have the opportunity to join tourists from around the world to admire the amazing works of art the festival has to offer in the form of ice.
In addition to viewing the ice sculptures, Sailors also plan to partake in some of the many winter sports offered in the region such as skiing, snowboarding, and bushwalking.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the many statues and trying the regional cuisine. This is my first Japanese port outside of Yokosuka," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Hugo J. Perez. "I'm excited for an outstanding cultural and culinary experience. I especially want to try the seafood."
The Ishikari port visit gives the Mustin crew a chance to interact with the Japanese people in order to build upon the existing relationship with one of America's most important allies in the Pacific region.
"I anticipate the officers and crew to join in the many events associated with the festival and to gain an even greater understanding of the country and people that we partner to protect with the Japanese Self Defense Force," said Mustin's commanding officer, Cmdr. Scott A. Tait.
Mustin is one of seven destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet.