Sailors Ready To Create Their Sculpture At Sapporo Snow Festival



Published on 24 January 2014


by Office of the Spokesperson

(WireNews+Co)

Misawa Air Base, Japan

Snow Sculpture Of The Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington
Snow Sculpture Of The Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington

Seven U.S. sailors stationed at Misawa Air Base will soon take part in the 65th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan.

The team, nicknamed the Sapporo Seven, will build a snow sculpture on behalf of their unit, Naval Air Facility Misawa. This year is the 31st anniversary of Misawa sailors participating in the festival, which draws about 2 million spectators each year.

In recent years, Misawa sailors have sculpted giant anchors, a replica of the Lone Sailor sculpture in Washington, and a frosty facsimile of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Next week, the Sapporo Seven will travel to Sapporo to build something even more ambitious.

“We’re going to build the famous U.S. Navy Seabee logo: The Fighting Bee,” said Chief Petty Officer Billy Harger, a native of Pearl City, Hawaii, and this year’s team leader. “I think this is a great sculpture to attempt for the 65th annual Sapporo Snow Festival, and a cool way for our team to honor my fellow Seabees, who will be celebrating the 72nd anniversary of their creation March 5th.”

The team will depart Misawa next week and have only a few days to build the sculpture in time for the festival’s kickoff on February 5. Adding to the challenge is that all of the snow team’s members originally hail from warm-weather states, and none of them have any previous snow-sculpture experience. This does not faze Harger and his team.

“The U.S. Navy Seabee philosophy is ‘can do,’ and we certainly will do,” Harger said. “Regardless of our experience, the extreme weather, or any other deterrents we might face, the team will create this sculpture on time for all festival-goers to enjoy.”

The Sapporo Seven will once again be hosted by Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members at Camp Sapporo. Misawa and Camp Sapporo have an ongoing relationship that has grown even closer in recent years, with both commands hosting bilateral events for the other.

“I’m really looking forward to staying at Camp Sapporo while we take part in the festival,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Erin Devenberg, originally from Tehachapi, California. “I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the Camp Sapporo hospitality. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to interact with the JGSDF, and help enhance our services’ great friendship.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity to bring a little piece of the U.S. Navy to a part of Japan that isn’t exposed to it very often,” Harger said. “Sapporo is such a wonderful city, and we’re honored to represent the U.S. Navy and our respective commands during this festival.”

Along with Harger and Devenberg, the Sapporo Seven includes Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexianna Morton, who originally hails from Antioch, California; Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Cable, a native of Nederland, Texas; Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Dorrough, who comes from Gadsden, Alabama; Seaman Ariel Hogue, originally from Pensacola, Florida; and Seaman Andrew Handley, who hails from Stroud, Oklahoma.




This article was originally published on the U.S. Navy website on January 23.



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Posted 2014-01-24 07:16:00