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EVETRETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 set sail July 20 for a three-day group sail off the coast of Washington to hone skills Sailors need when executing the nation's maritime strategy.

Comprised of USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Ingraham (FFG 61), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) and numerous Navy surface and subsurface vessels, aircraft squadrons and Coast Guard commands, the group sail provided an opportunity for crews to focus on teamwork and communication.

"Our goal was to conduct squadron-level training at sea in support of the nation's maritime strategy," said Lt. Timothy Satrom, DESRON 9's submarine liaison.

Through numerous surface warfare exercises, the crews were able to increase proficiencies by operating in a team-building environment designed to forge the squadron into a cohesive fighting unit.

Exercises included training in anti-submarine warfare, undersea warfare, anti-air warfare, maritime interdiction operations, fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft, division tactics, replenishment at sea, deck landing qualifications and small boat operations.

"During group sail, we saw naval sea power at its finest," said Gunner's Mate 1st Class (SW) Jason Maurer, a Sailor on board Ingraham. "It was an excellent training opportunity to track and fire on target with the gun. All the hard work and dedication from the Sailors made the group sail a successful event."

The Sailors involved sharpened their skills while on the open water and engaged in some friendly competition with the other ships.

"This time we enjoyed the company of our squadron and maneuvering together on the high seas against gusty winds and rolling seas," said Ensign Andrew Meyer, a junior officer on board Ingraham. "It was awe-inspiring to be executing precision formations and movement, commencing naval gunnery exercises in close proximity and occasionally battling the massive swells and white caps while riding small boats between vessels."

The ships returned to their homeport of Naval Station Everett, Wash., July 23 to continue on to the next step of their training.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.
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