On board, USS Higgins - Combating the silent service does not have to remain quiet much longer as the Nimitz Strike Group recently conducted the first phase of the Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare Course (IAC I) in port September 3-7.
USS Higgins (DDG 76) Sailors were among the many Anti-Submarine watch teams who participated in the training.
The Integrated ASW Course is a customized course of instruction designed to improve the workability between the Sea Combat Commander and Strike Group while integrating ASW war-fighting skill sets. IAC Phase I consisted of five days of basic and intermediate level classroom training at the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command at Naval Base Point Loma and on board USS Higgins.
Sailors participated in several different scenarios during the week and were able to refine their watch teams and recognize where more practice was needed. According to Sonar Technician-Surface 2nd Class Chris Hess, “IAC came at a great time for Higgins' ASW team because we have a lot of new faces in Combat Acoustics Division. We saw our junior guys grow from novice operators on the stacks into analysts feeding the sonar supervisors great information and recommendations to keep the acoustic picture as clear and accurate as possible.”
Higgins will participate in the second phase of IAC during its next underway. The second phase combines the skills acquired during the first phase and applies them to an actual situation. This scenario typically includes various destroyers, cruisers, frigates, 2-3 embarked helicopters, one submarine, and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft searching for, locating, and attacking one submarine.
Hess commented that exercises such as IAC “emphasize the importance of ASW and allow for “a greater understanding of the ‘big picture’ when it comes to operating with multiple assets.” With this level of detailed training, Higgins and the Nimitz Strike Group continue to face forward to deployment and recognize the skills they will need to ensure maritime dominance remains a priority.