By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs
SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) relieved USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) of duties in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, June 12.
Safeguard relieved Salvor after completing a three-month depot repair period in Singapore to improve its material condition readiness.
Both ships transited to Subic Bay, Philippines to conduct the turnover. Safeguard will support Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines with a diving and salvage exchange at the end of the month.
"We're happy to have Safeguard back to help carry out our diving and salvage mission in the Indo-Asia-Pacific," said Lt. Cmdr. William Sumsion, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73 diving and salvage officer.
Safeguard and Salvor transferred diving and salvage gear assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 throughout five days of turnover. Approximately 17 divers are embarked aboard Safeguard to complement the 30 civilian mariners that make up the ship's crew. The divers and crew aboard Safeguard regularly conduct salvage, diving, towing, heavy lift operations and theater security cooperation missions for 7th Fleet, including most phases of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in South and Southeast Asia.
This year, Safeguard will support seven CARAT exercises and a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) mission in Cambodia.
"Salvor did a great job filling in for Safeguard while she was in the yards," said Lt. John Money, CTF 73 surface operations officer. "It's good to have Safeguard back. They're one of the most employed, hardest working assets we have in 7th Fleet."
Additionally, while operating in the Asia-Pacific region, Salvor completed a two-week bilateral salvage operation with the Republic of Korea Navy, Salvex Korea 2015, successfully towed USAV Port Hudson (LCU 2035) from Thailand to Japan and escorted USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005) from Japan to Singapore.
Safeguard is a forward-deployed rescue and salvage ship operating out of 7th Fleet and is part of CTF 73. CTF 73 conducts advanced planning, organizes resources and directly supports the execution of maritime exercises, such as the CARAT exercise series with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste; the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam, and the multi-lateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.