SAN DIEGO - A group of 35 U.S. Navy reservists spent their drill weekend on board the guided missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) Jan. 24-25, providing a welcome boost of manpower to the ship’s crew.
The reservists assisted with crucial work on board Russell including repairing eight quick-acting, water-tight doors, and assisting with the troubleshooting of the ship’s fuel oil transfer system.
Russell is in the midst of an aggressive “return to sea” schedule as the ship transitions from an 18-month to extended drydock selective restricted availability to deployment status. Sailors are working extended hours as they prepare for Type Commander Material Readiness Inspection (TMI) in April, the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in June, prior to the deployment.
The reservists’ welcome help in equipment repairs, administration, and organization allowed the command to dedicate more time to other valuable training evolutions.
The visit was beneficial for the reservists as well. Working one weekend a month with active duty Sailors is their chance to receive hands on training on various ships’ systems and to see, first hand, the effect of their assistance.
“It’s fun working here on a ship with active-duty Sailors,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class James Gipson. “The command has done a great job preparing for us to come on board, and it’s nice to get out of the office once in a while!”
Sailors in the Navy Reserves come from all areas of life, each with different skill sets. The Navy Reserve offers citizens the opportunity to serve part-time, training near home until called to active duty. A Sailor in the Navy Reserve can easily pursue a full-time civilian career and education while serving their country. Although they are only required to work one weekend out of every month and two weeks out of the year, as seen on Russell, their contribution is still significant.
“It’s great to have well-trained and eager sailors come on board and supplement our maintenance team,” said Cmdr. James Harney, Russell’s commanding officer. “With their help, our crew will be able to focus on training as a whole and ultimately warfighting first.”
Russell is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron One. The ship and crew currently in the basic training phase in preparation for a future deployment.