USS RENTZ, At Sea -- The Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) and personnel attached to Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B) concluded three days of deck landing qualifications Feb. 11 off the coast of Latin America.
Deck landing qualifications are used in the aviation community to certify military pilots for Navy shipboard operations. Many of the operations include, but are not limited to, long-range logistics support, emergency evacuation missions and humanitarian relief efforts, such as those carried out by the USS George Washington (CVN 73) carrier strike group following a catastrophic typhoon that struck the Philippines late last year.
The week's events mark the second occasion where helicopter pilots from the joint task force have had the opportunity to train with Rentz during the frigate's deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet.
Members from JTF-B expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to train with their Navy counterparts.
"The crew of the USS Rentz has performed at an impressive level the past few days that displayed tremendous professionalism, relentless commitment to duty and an intensity that marks a very well trained crew," said Lt. Col E.J. Irvin, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment.
"Opportunities to train and operate within a joint capacity like this lead to enhanced war fighting capabilities, improved decision making and operational cohesion amongst the different branches of service," he said.
Throughout the week, members from the ship's embarked Helicopter Squadron Anti-Submarine Warfare Light 49 Detachment 5, which routinely perform high-risk flight operations at sea, provided JTF-B pilots with valuable training concerning sea-based operations and shipboard landing procedures. Additionally, the frigate's flight deck crew gained valuable experience working with the JTF-B pilots, as the DLQ's provided crew members the opportunity to observe Army helicopter landing procedures firsthand.
"Overall, I am very pleased with the success of the qualifications and the hard work displayed by our crew," said Cmdr. Lance Lantier, commanding officer, USS Rentz.
"We are always delighted to host our Army brethren for training opportunities like this, as these types of events give us the ability to highlight what we do very well at sea. I could not be more proud of this crew and all their hard work displayed this week. Their diligent efforts clearly mark the level of pride and professionalism the crew demonstrates on a daily basis," he said.
The USS Rentz is expected to return to her homeport in San Diego early this spring following a deployment to the 4th Fleet in support of Operation Martillo.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.