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U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Corey Taylor, a Lancaster native, was recently awarded the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for meritorious service while serving with Mine-Countermeasures Squadron 7, in Sasebo, Japan.
A 1987 Indian Land High School graduate and 24-year service veteran, Taylor served as the squadron’s operations officer from August 2010 to February 2012.
Squadron commander, U.S. Navy Capt. Dan W. Brune made the presentation in February.
The citation cited Taylor for performing demanding duties in an “exemplary and highly professional manner.”
Brune said Taylor planned and directed five Mine Warfare Maritime Partnership patrols, which included seven multi-national mine warfare exercises and 41 theater security engagements that resulted in a dramatic increase in Squadron 7’s level of mission readiness.
“This may have been one of my most challenging and rewarding assignments,” Taylor said at the awards ceremony. “Eighteen months ago when I reported to this job as the operations officer, the squadron was in a transition period and the job of operations officer was vacant. What we have accomplished and continue to accomplish is a testament to all who supported me and the vision I had for the squadron and ships.”
Taylor would prove to be a valuable asset to the squadron. He was reporting from a successful job assignment as a member of the member of the Seventh Fleet (C7F) command staff, whose home port is Yokosuka, Japan. The staff oversees all Seventh Fleet operations.
While at C7F, Taylor worked in the current operations department. The experience he gained there helped him develop an operational plan for the Mine Countermeasures Squadron’s future deployments and engagement opportunities.
“I was very confident that I could develop an efficient and effective plan that would meet the demands of higher headquarters, benefit the squadron and ships under our command, while improving overall mission readiness,” Taylor said. “With the squadron in a transition phase and without a lieutenant commander, as an operations officer this was an excellent opportunity for me to use my past experience, knowledge and leadership. I couldn’t have asked for a better assignment.”
A squadron operations officer’s job is a demanding position with numerous responsibilities. It requires a U.S. Navy officer to be familiar with operations of other assets (foreign and domestic) within the entire area of responsibility.
For ships under the squadron’s responsibility, the operations officer is responsible for writing and submitting ship schedules, being familiar with the training and mission readiness status of each ship and all vessel maintenance plans. The operations officer also works with foreign countries to schedule and plan port visits, training and exercise events and logistical support.
Under Taylor’s leadership, there were several squadron accomplishments worth noting. Three of four ships were certified under the U.S. Navy’s Electronic Chart Digital Navigation Information System. Four ships traveled a combined 40,000 nautical miles throughout the Pacific Ocean visiting foreign ports in 15 countries. It was the first time that a mine-countermeasure ship visited three of those ports (Darwin, Australia, Makassar, Indonesia, and Port Hera, Timor Leste).
Taylor also led an increased mission readiness through the completion of 61 training group assist visits and warfare area certifications, as well as serving as the Navy’s coordination officer during the 2011 Western Pacific Mine Countermeasures multi-national exercise, which involved 16 foreign nations.
Other accomplishments include Taylor’s selection as squadron representative at the first-ever mine exercise conference with Indonesia and at planning conferences in the Philippines and Thailand.
“I leave feeling I have achieved the goals I established for the squadron and myself 18 months ago,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s next duty assignment will be on the USS George Washington (CVN 73), which is home-ported out of Yokosuka.