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San Diego-Based USS Warrior Arrives In Japan To Replace Guardian

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

The bow of the mine countermeasure ship Ex-Guardian (MCM 5) is removed by the crane vessel M/V Jascon 25 during operations March 26.

The USS Warrior, which until now has been homeported in San Diego, arrived in Japan on Wednesday to replace the USS Guardian, according to the Guardian's Facebook page.

The Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef in January, and the ship is currently being dismantled piece by piece to safely remove it from the reef.

The crew of the Guardian will take over the Warrior, which will now be forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan.

As Home Post previously reported, the Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef the morning of January 17 while transiting the Sulu Sea, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island.

The Navy determined the ship was "beyond economical repair." Salvage crews are in the process of cutting the Guardian into pieces so it can be removed from the environmentally-sensitive reef.

Supervisor of Salvage, Capt. Mark Matthews, said in a Navy news release:

"Preparing the ship for this sectioning has been extremely challenging. We have had to painstakingly clear about a two foot path inside the ship, removing everything that is in our way.

"Once the path is clear, the hull cutting is done manually by Navy divers and salvage contractors using chainsaws and reciprocating saws, and some of this cutting is underwater using hydraulically driven tools."

Stars and Stripes reports there will be an official arrival ceremony to welcome the USS Warrior in Japan in the coming weeks.

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