USS PORT ROYAL, At Sea - Two Sailors assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) trained for three days aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), while three Sailors from aircraft carrier John C. Stennis (CVN 74) trained aboard Port Royal Dec. 23.
This alternate platform training, commonly referred to as "cross-decking," allows Sailors to work and train on different systems.
The John C. Stennis Sailors, who had never been on a cruiser, partnered with Port Royal Sailors in the same, or similar, rate to learn job-specific skills. They toured the ship and observed a replenishment-at-sea, flight operations, and daily shipboard operations.
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Albert Farmer, a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile specialist, was one of Port Royal's Sailors who cross-decked to Mobile Bay. "I went to Mobile Bay to receive training on the skills used for a Tomahawk launch area coordinator, as well as just to have a better understanding of how a Strike Team works," he said.
"It reinforced and gave me a better understanding of why we do certain things, including the value of working together, backing each other up at all times, and the necessity of having clear, concise communication with each other. By observing the Mobile Bay's Strike team, I witnessed many of Mobile Bay's best practices that can be of great use to us on Port Royal," Farmer said.
Ensign James Kelling, Port Royal's strike officer and Farmer's division officer, was enthusiastic about the cross-deck training. "The cross-deck opportunity is a valuable experience because it provides [the] Sailor the chance to observe and operate with a team who has a different culture and accepted methods of performing their duties. The overall benefit is two-fold, as the Sailor leaves more experienced and well-rounded, and the team receives a fresh set of ideas for execution of our own duties."
Port Royal, a Pearl Harbor-based ship, is conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.