USS Gridley (ddg101) 
(Official U.S. Navy Photo)
Gridley Ramps up for Integrated Training 
USS GRIDLEY, At Sea -- Sailors assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) successfully completed underway training Feb. 7 in preparation for the ship's upcoming transition into the integrated/advanced training with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group.

During the five-day underway, Gridley conducted sea qualifications, completed mobility-navigation (MOB-N), mobility-seamanship (MOB-S) and air operations certifications, which are critical to completion of the ship's basic phase of training.

"The initial or basic phase of training prepares and certifies ships to operate as independent units and ensure they can execute more advanced tactics required during advanced phase," said Lt. j.g. Courtney Wang, Destroyer Squadron 1 training officer. "Navigation and seamanship events are fundamental necessities for a strike group destroyer. Without the air operations certifications, Gridley would be unable to work with helicopters."

The crew conducted training that included life-saving, damage control, navigation and replenishment-at-sea drills. Part of the training also required the crew to muster at their assigned lifeboat stations and receive training on abandon ship procedures.

"The highlight of the underway was when the crew successfully prepared for and executed the proper procedure of mooring to a buoy," said Chief Boatswain's Mate Kim Ford. "This evolution is extremely important in case Gridley needs to tow other ships in the event of an emergency."

According to Cmdr. Gadala Kratzer, Gridley's commanding officer, the old adage of "train like we fight" still remains true today. Whether it is ship-wide damage control drills or complex tactical scenarios it is critically important that Sailors are trained and prepared to execute the mission regardless of challenging environments that may encounter.

"I'm very proud of how well the Gridley crew is progressing as it continues to work through the training cycle," said Kratzer. "With many new shipmates on board the training we are receiving from Afloat Training Group is providing a fundamental foundation to build upon as the ship readies itself for its next deployment."

Gridley will continue to conduct operations and training within 3rd Fleet's 50 million square-mile AOR.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

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