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    Bataan Completes Mariner Skills Week

    Bridge Watch

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Anderson | 190314-N-MH210-0142 ATANTIC OCEAN (Mar. 14, 2019) Lieutenant commander Jonathan Piaz...... read more read more

    Turning left, when you’re driving a car, it’s a simple task. If you’re driving a semi-truck, it’s slightly more difficult. But what if you’re driving an 800-foot-long warship? For the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan’s (LHD 5) navigation team it’s all in a day’s work and during sea trials their skills were put to the test.

    March 14, marked the beginning of Mariner Skills Week, a comprehensive week of training combined with an assessment of the crews’ ability to navigate the ship. The week included everything from basic communications and watch standing practices to advanced evolutions such as loss of steering drills, precision anchoring, and restricted water transits.

    For Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Paiz, the ship's navigator, and his team of watch standers, this week was a vital check to ensure the ship’s safety.

    “Just like any other ship coming out of a shipyard, your skills atrophy, you have experience that departs and new people that come in who haven’t been underway,” said Paiz. “For a lot of our junior watch standers this is their first time underway, it’s their first time seeing and doing the things they have been trained to do. So we need that outside look to come in and say ‘yes, you are in fact ready to do this."

    Due to the size and weight of Bataan, navigational safety doesn’t come easy.

    “I’ve driven destroyers and I’ve driven this big deck amphib[ious ship],” said Paiz. “Destroyers have a lot more power and a lot less weight than a ship like this. Driving an amphib takes a lot of anticipation. A lot of patience and really requires you to think through problems before you come to a solution.”

    The training and assessments the navigation team are receiving all support one goal, to become mission ready.

    “We’re a war ship, our mission is to put Marines on the beach,” said Paiz. “You can’t do any of that, you can’t execute the basic mission of the ship if you’re not able to safely and properly drive the ship and that’s what this week is really all about.”

    While challenging evolutions and practice are good for the ship, they can also help watch standers on a personal level as well.

    “My hope for my team is that during every evolution, everyone involved learns something new, no matter how junior or senior they are,” said Paiz. “Whether that’s about themselves personally or how to execute their duties and responsibilities as a watch stander.”

    For Paiz, the goal is to come out of this week ready to move forward, having proved to leadership that the Bataan is ready for tasking and ready to focus on what lies on the horizon.

    Bataan’s navigation team took a big step in that direction as they concluded Mariner Skills week March 20, while also completing their mobility navigation certification. The team scored a 94 percent average across all events and evolutions observed by the assessment team, Afloat Training Group Atlantic.

    “I’m looking forward to the future,” said Paiz. “This underway, we’ve done a lot of growing and caught up on a lot of proficiency we had lost from before. I’m really proud of the watch standers and watch teams, the progress they’ve made and the work they’ve put in.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.22.2019
    Date Posted: 03.22.2019 11:04
    Story ID: 315362
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN

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    Bataan Completes Mariner Skills Week