During a recent port visit to Laem Chabang, Thailand, members of the Royal Thai Navy visited the USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG-57) for a tour of the ship and demonstration of a torpedo load by members of HSL-37 Easyriders Detachment FOUR. Aviation Ordnanceman Petty Officer Second Class Christopher Wozniak started the day off with a brief on the process of loading a torpedo on an SH-60B Anti-Submarine helicopter. Following the brief, the load team led by Aviation Electrician’s Mate Petty Officer Second Class Jesse Morgan, performed step-by-step the detailed process of loading, arming, de-arming, and unloading a Recoverable exercise Mk-46 torpedo (REXTORP) onto the onboard helicopter. CDR Daniel Valascho, Commanding Officer of the REUBEN JAMES, received Rear Admiral Paitoon of the Royal Thai Navy and 20 members of the Royal Thai Navy from Helicopter Squadron 2 and Frigate Squadron 2 to view the demonstration.
After the torpedo load, the members of Frigate Squadron 2 toured the ship while several members of the Easyriders proceeded to visit the hanger of Helicopter Squadron 2. Aviation Electronics Technician Petty Officer First Class Branden Sanderson supervised the load team from Helicopter Squadron 2 as they loaded, armed, de-armed and unloaded a torpedo onto their S-70 helicopter. Lieutenant Commander Phil Castañeda, Detachment FOUR Officer-in-Charge, helped demonstrate to the pilots inputting the proper settings into the armament panel of the cockpit.
AO2 Wozniak said, “This event was a great success. It was fun to interact with the Royal Thai Navy and learn more about how they do business compared to our Navy. This was an excellent opportunity that everybody enjoyed.” LTJG Rath Kanchanachote of the Royal Thai Navy expressed, “These events are always a pleasure. Each year, more of our Officers attend for the experience of working with U.S. Sailors and being aboard US Ships.”