By Ens. Andrew Long, USS Halsey Public Affairs
USS HALSEY, At Sea – Navy guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) performed precision maneuvers, screening exercises, and numerous other tactical training evolutions during Destroyer Squadron 9’s six-ship group sail May 5 in preparation for joining USS Abraham Lincoln and Carrier Air Wing 2 for strike group training.
The ships conducted precision maneuvers at intervals as close as 300 yards from each other to train in positioning themselves for tactical formations and prepare for a group photo opportunity.
“We don’t usually get the opportunity to so closely approach that many ships,” said Ens. Donald P. Northrup of Phoenix, the conning officer for the event. “This gave me the opportunity to use the mental math techniques we learned to predict how the ship will move.”
Following the initial set of maneuvers, the six surface combatants practiced strike group level screening maneuvers designed to defend a high value unit.
“Our watch standers maneuvered Halsey with confidence and precision during a unique training opportunity,” said Cmdr. Jordy Harrison, of Columbia, Md., commanding officer of USS Halsey.
“We performed exceptionally well,” said Chief Petty Officer Darryl C. Patrick, of Altadena, Calif. “We rapidly cracked the signals, verified their accuracy with the bridge watch standers, and executed the movements flawlessly.”
Shortly after lunch, Halsey participated in the first of a series of quick-response drills. “Man overboard” sounded over the announcing system as crew members scrambled to react within the time limitations.
Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dave Murphy, Halsey’s professional warfare officer said, “We responded well, and were ready to recover the man in less than 10 minutes.”
As the day progressed, Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer Ens. Jamie J. Boudreaux, a native of Houma, La., led an exercise to simulate tracking a submarine and honing internal communications. “We practiced building unit cohesion between ships and the warfare commander, which will prepare us for missions we may be called upon to undertake during our upcoming deployment,” said Boudreaux.
The final exercise of the day was an electronic warfare exercise. Watch standers flexed Halsey’s ability to identify other ships nearby. “The exercise was a good opportunity for us to evaluate how effective we are at identifying electronic emissions,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Grace J. Kirkland, of Athens, Ohio.
“Group sail is a critical element in preparing us for our upcoming deployment,” said Harrison. “I am extremely proud of the crew for their outstanding performance, and am confident we will be ready to execute any mission we are required to perform during deployment in support of our nation’s maritime strategy.”
USS Halsey is home ported in San Diego, Calif., and is scheduled to operate with the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group later this year.
For more information, please visit www.halsey.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/USSHalsey, and www.twitter.com/USS HALSEY.