Riverview native serves in Japan aboard forward-deployed ship

Photo courtesy of the Navy Office of Community Outreach Blake Harrison, a 2014 Riverview Community High School graduate and Riverview native, is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.

Photo courtesy of the Navy Office of Community Outreach
Blake Harrison, a 2014 Riverview Community High School graduate and Riverview native, is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.

By THEODORE QUINTANA
Navy Office of Community Outreach

SASEBO, Japan – A 2014 Riverview Community High School graduate and Riverview native is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.

Seaman Blake Harrison is a culinary specialist aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for operating and managing Navy messes and living quarters established to subsist and accommodate Navy personnel.

“Growing up in Riverview, I learned how to be personable with people and what I like most about my job is that I get to meet a bunch of people,” Harrison said.

With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.

“Our alliance is rooted in shared interests and shared values,” said Adm. Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Command Commander. “It’s not hyperbole to say that the entire world has benefited from the U.S.-Japan alliance. While our alliance helped stabilize the region after the Second World War, it also enabled the Japanese people to bring about an era of unprecedented economic growth.

“And for the last six decades, our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have worked side by side with the Japan Self Defense Force to protect and advance peace and freedom.”

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

Sea duty is inherently arduous and challenging but it builds strong fellowship and esprit de corps among members of the crew. The crew is highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.

“Serving in the Navy means I can defend my country, it was a dream to serve my entire life,” Harrison said.

The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part a long-standing commitment.

“The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” Harris said.