Resiliency has become a cornerstone among the USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) crew. With a successful 13 month CNO availability, numerous training cycle certifications and a TYCOM Material Inspection behind them, they were challenged again with a single week to prepare for INSURV. Completing all INSURV checks in four days time and delivering another outstanding performance, they returned home for the weekend to say goodbye to loved ones for the Monday underway to Seal Beach, CA.
Immediately upon arriving in Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, BENFOLD Sailors were back on the deckplates, working around the clock to swing an impressive number of munitions onboard in preparation for operations in Seventh Fleet. Meeting yet another demanding deadline, BENFOLD cleared the pier later that week and set course to rendezvous with USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) in the San Diego Area of Operations (AOR).
Sunrise revealed the imminent Fueling At Sea (FAS) as USNS HENRY J. KAISER (T-AO-187), BENFOLD, and RONALD REAGAN closed alongside each other. The BENFOLD crew learned tremendously from the opportunity to steam with three ship’s in tight formation.
After detaching with HENRY J. KAISER, RONALD REAGAN and BENFOLD came to full power, executed a course change, and prepared for their Fueling at Sea. As RONALD REAGAN hauled up flag ROMEO, BENFOLD met her on the starboard side and received shotlines forward and aft.
After seating the fueling rig at station eight, RONALD REAGAN smartly delivered additional fuel to BENFOLD. The two ships sailed alongside, with just 180 feet between them, for over one hour. Upon releasing the rig, delivering all lines over, and receiving the order to proceed on duties assigned, BENFOLD responded by displaying her battle flags, coming to full power, and executing a 180 degree turn to break away.
A successful evolution between RONALD REAGAN and BENFOLD will be the first of many others. As RONALD REAGAN arrives in the 7th Fleet AOR, BENFOLD will soon meet her as she conducts a homeport shift to Yokosuka, Japan in early fall.
USS BENFOLD is currently completing training and certifications prior to transitioning to Yokosuka, Japan, where she will operate as a forward deployed ballistic missile defense ship. To submit pictures, stories, or questions, please contact PAO@ddg65.navy.mil