USS Reuben James
Decommissioned July 18, 2013 

Reuben James loads up good relations 
By Lt. j.g. Leif Alleman  
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 Easy-riders Detachment Four.

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd 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 2nd 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.

Cmdr. Daniel Valascho, commanding officer of Reuben James, received Rear Adm. 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 visited the hanger of Helicopter Squadron 2. Aviation Electronics Technician 1st 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.

Lt. Cmdr. Phil Castañeda, Detachment Four officer-in-charge, helped demonstrate to the pilots inputting the proper settings into the armament panel of the cockpit.

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.”

Lt. j.g. Rath Kanchanachote of the Royal Thai navy said, “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 U.S. ships.”

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