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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — This small, remote Navy base came up big in the service’s recently announced annual Chief of Information, Navy Office of Information Merit Awards.

Base sailors came away with 11 honors — the most from any base in the entire Navy. No installation in the Pacific came close.

The awards, based on submitted 2003 work, recognize “exemplary achievements in internal media print/broadcast products by Navy commands and individuals,” according to the Navy message announcing the winners.

“The winners were selected from among all Navy submissions,” the message adds.

Sailors with the base’s American Forces Network earned eight awards — including one first- and second-place award, four third-place awards and two honorable mentions.

A supervisor at the station said he believes the inexperience of the staff has a great deal to do with the recognition.

“Every journalist here is on their first enlistment with no more than three years in the rate,” said Operations Manager Petty Officer 2nd Class Christian Marquardt. “Our young journalists often don’t have preconceived notions about how things should be done, so we figure out our own ways.”

“Plus, the remoteness adds to our creative freedom because we don’t have years of experience and know-how looking over our shoulders, telling us how they would do it.”

In addition to awards going to AFN, a third-place award in photojournalism went to Seaman James Kimber of Commander, Task Force 76.

Sasebo minesweeper USS Patriot notched two awards, including first place in the category of familygrams produced by small commands for the “USS Patriot Newsletter,” and third place for cruisebooks produced by small commands for “Summer Deployment 2002,” which was produced and distributed last year.

Two awards each were announced for media produced at Misawa Air Base and Yokota Air Base, and Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station’s AFN detachment won an honorable mention in the television information program category.

In regional broadcast competition, AFN’s “Pacific Report: Kitty Hawk Returns,” produced at Yokota, won first place for television newscasts, followed by “Daily News Update” from the Naval Media Center in Washington.

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