USS PORT ROYAL, At Sea
– Guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) had the opportunity to host the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maui (WPB 1304), while Maui received maintenance in drydock.
Lt. Heather Bacon-Shone wanted to increase familiarity with operations in the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, as well as maintain her maritime skills, and expand her Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) knowledge while Maui was in drydock.
“I was very grateful when Port Royal offered an open rack, and I jumped at the chance to learn more about how the Navy operates,” said Bacon-Shone.
Bacon-Shone has been able to witness many at-sea operations while embarked aboard.
“It’s incredible to me how many different evolutions can be executed all at once,” she said. “These sailors conduct replenishments-at-sea almost flawlessly and the combat information center operates like a well-oiled machine.”
In addition to daily operations, Bacon-Shone was able to experience a variety of special evolutions, including a total ship survivability exercise (TSSE), small boat operations, flight quarters, two anchorings, and the intricate shiphandling required to get the ship underway after a port call.
“The highlight of my time aboard was the opportunity to drive Port Royal for rare and complicated maneuvers during an alongside replenishment-at-sea,” said Bacon-Shone.
While she was busy learning about Navy procedures and capabilities during her time aboard Port Royal, she also shared her Coast Guard knowledge and experience, which offered a unique perspective for Port Royal’s wardroom and crew.
“The Coast Guard often works with the Navy in a variety of missions, so I feel it’s important to learn how to ‘think Navy’ and ‘speak Navy’ to improve cooperation,” said Bacon-Shone.
By the time she returns to Maui, Bacon-Shone will have spent a total of 30 days underway with Port Royal.
Maui is forward deployed to the Kingdom of Bahrain, one of six patrol boats assigned to the Coast Guard’s Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), a subordinate command of NAVCENT and Commander Task Force (CTF) 55. Maui has 22 crewmembers, including three officers and one chief petty officer.
Port Royal is conducting maritime security operations and missions in support of operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn while deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.