Everett Native and Mine Hunter Serves with the U.S. Navy Half a World Away

An Everett native and 2015 Everett High School graduate is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard one of the forward-deployed mine countermeasures ship, USS Patriot.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Chase is a mineman aboard the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship, operating out of Sasebo, Japan. The ship routinely deploys to protect alliances, enhance partnerships, and be ready to respond if a natural disaster occurs in the region.

A Navy mineman is responsible for performing organizational and intermediate level maintenance on underwater mines and associated equipment, guns, gun mounts, handling equipment, small arms, surface sonar and mine countermeasures equipment.

Chase is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Everett.

“Growing up in the Boston area there was a lot of pride for military and the brotherhood and camaraderie is what I bring into my Navy career,” said Chase. “If I didn’t have the lessons I learned back home, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.”

Moments like that make it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. 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. The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.

With a crew of more than 80, Patriot is 224 feet long and weighs approximately 1,300 tons. Patriot is one of the Navy’s 11 Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships that are designed to neutralize mines from vital waterways and harbors. There are four minesweeper in Sasebo, Japan, as part of the forward-deployed mine countermeasures force that are on-call to respond in the event of a mine-clearing operation in the Indo-Pacific.

MCMs in Sasebo routinely operate with allies and partners to build mine countermeasures proficiency and sustain our alliances.

“It’s great being forward deployed because of the new experiences and the traveling ,” said Chase.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Chase and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy brings me a lot of pride,” said Chase. “I feel useful. I feel like I have a place in doing something around the world.”

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.

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