Commanders Visit SIU-Crewed USNS Pathfinder (10/20)

 

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The U.S. Navy earlier this week issued the following news release concerning the Seafarers-crewed USNS Pathfinder.

 

USNS Pathfinder Hosts USFF, MSC Commanders

 

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) – The commanding officer of the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) and the civilian survey detachment aboard oceanographic survey ship USNS Pathfinder (T-AGS 60) hosted visitors for tours and demonstrations of the Military Sealift Command ship’s oceanographic capabilities in Norfolk Oct. 12-13.

 

“It is a pleasure to be here with you all, and I only regret that I was unable to visit one of these ships sooner,” said Adm. John Harvey Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, in reference to the T-AGS class survey vessels. He and members of his staff were welcomed by Rear Adm. Jonathan White, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command; NAVOCEANO Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Oosterling; and Pathfinder’s master, Thomas Pearse-Drance.

 

Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, commander, Military Sealift Command, also visited for briefings on the ship’s capabilities and expressed their appreciation for the work performed daily in support of the warfighter by the NAVOCEANO surveyors.

 

Additional visitors included Naval Station Norfolk Commanding Officer Capt. Mary Jackson and officers and representatives from U.S. Fleet Forces Command; Fleet Weather Center Norfolk; Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and Commander, Carrier Strike Group 10.

 

This was Oosterling’s first opportunity to see the civilian surveyors and contracted ship’s crew working together since assuming command of NAVOCEANO in July.

 

“The pride that every surveyor and crew member takes in the ship as well as the mission was evident to everyone who came on board, from flag officers to lieutenants. The visitors were clearly amazed at the technology and the knowledge as well as the ship's condition.”

Pathfinder’s master said that although he has known since first reporting to the ship last year that the mission is important to the Navy, the feedback he received from visitors within the community this week only strengthened his support.

“It was incredibly rewarding to have flag officers onboard thanking us for our contribution to the Navy’s mission, but even more humbling was the appreciation from the submariners who say that they could not fulfill their mission without the work that these ships do,” said Pearse-Drance.

 

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