News: Recon Marines interact, train with submariners
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Marines had the unique opportunity to interact and train with their Navy brethren during dry deck landing and withdrawal training aboard the fast-attack submarine USS North Carolina at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 23.
Company A, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted the training exercise with the crew of the USS North Carolina to update and validate their part of the submarine standard operating procedures.
“With the Marine Corps focusing on our amphibious roots, (it’s important we place an emphasis)on our submarine training,” said Gunnery Sgt. Hunter Sorrells, company operations chief.
During the exercise, Marines and sailors worked hand in hand to learn how to store combat rubber reconnaissance craft in the submarine’s lockout chamber. The equipment had to be stored in such a way that it could be brought topside and assembled in a timely manner. The goal was to have all boats assembled and ready for launch within 15 minutes.
“Submarines are perfect platforms from which to launch amphibious reconnaissance operations,” said Sorrells. “Their ability to operate in littoral zones undetected extends our range and limits the distance needed to travel for insertion.”
The USS North Carolina is a Virginia class fast-attack submarine commissioned in 2008. Virginia class submarines are designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships, project naval firepower ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles, insert and retrieve special operations forces, carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, support battle group operations, and engage in mine warfare.
“When it comes to the Navy–Marine Corps team, it’s essential that we work together,” said Navy Lt. Doug McKenzie, assistant engineer officer, USS North Carolina. “The Navy and Marine Corps share a common goal, and this training is a sound opportunity to (practice operations).”
“We spent a good amount of time this morning just talking about the layout and design of the operation and ensuring everyone (was on the same page),” said Sorrells. “The interoperability between the sub’s crew and our teams is crucial. Understanding what the sub needs from us and vice versa is critical for a safe and effective evolution.”
From the moment the hatch to the lockout chamber opened to the moment Marines assembled a craft and started its engine, time was kept to track how quickly the Marines executed their mission. The first evolution lasted a little more than 20 minutes, while the following two improved to the goal of less than 15 minutes.
“It’s been a real fun and interesting time to see how these guys operate and work together to make the mission happen,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Joel Burchwen, machinist’s mate and Navy diver, USS North Carolina. “I never thought I would get an opportunity like this.”
“Effective communication between the crew and teams prior to and during the operation is what made today very successful,” said Sorrells. “We saw seamless integration, and we look forward to continuing the relationships built here today.”
Date Posted:07.05.2012 21:31
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