PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- More than 20 Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) conducted a visit, board, search and seizure exercise, Aug. 3, off the coast of southern California.
The VBSS exercise, conducted with civilians playing the role of a compliant merchant vessel, was meant to test the skills of the crew and their ability to work together to ensure the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.
"There are many members of the crew that need to know how to maneuver the ship in order to support us," said Chief Operations Specialist Alan K. Hudnall, VBSS boarding officer. "We had a lot of good communication between the Preble and the VBSS team, including where and when to move and exchanging information."
The exercise provided a learning opportunity for both the VBSS members and Preble Sailors to see what aspects went well, and which areas can be improved in the future.
"Our code words, call signs, movements and security sweeps were executed in the way they were supposed to and we did all of the basics right," said Hudnall. "We did a great job ensuring the compliant boarding situation did not escalate unnecessarily."
For a few members of the VBSS team, this was their first exercise.
"We worked cohesively as a team and were able to predict each other's movements a lot," said Yeoman (Submarine) 2nd Class Forrest R. Jones, VBSS team member. "Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Joshua Hardin really stepped up as a member of the team, even though it was his first time boarding."
During the VBSS exercise, two teams from Preble boarded the merchant vessel and conducted an open-ended question investigation to verify the identity and operations of the ship.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is conducting its final pre-deployment evaluation to ensure safe and effective coordination within the strike group to achieve mission readiness and the ability to effectively execute the Navy's maritime strategy. Following the successful completion of Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), the TRCSG will conduct worldwide operations in its upcoming deployment.
TRSG is comprised of Carrier Strike Group 9 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 staff, aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, DESRON 23 ships USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), Preble and USS Sampson (DDG 102), as well as guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).
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