— Sailors aboard amphibious transport-dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) conducted its pre-deployment workups May 30 to June 1 with one of the Navy’s long standing traditions, a “Fast Cruise.”
Green Bay completed the three-day fast cruise to simulate an out-to-sea environment while moored pier side at Naval Station San Diego.
“We just got out of the yards and the ship has not been underway under its own power for quite a while,” said Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Lee G. Bethel. “This is a chance for us to get back up to speed and do a run through of all our evolutions without taking unnecessary risks.”
Many of the ship’s crew are new to the command and have not been underway together as a team.
During the evolution, the ship simulated underway replenishments, flight deck firefighting drills, general quarters and small boat operations.
According to Bethel, during the first drills, they were kind of shaky because the crew either hasn’t used its skills in a while or it had new personnel that haven’t done it before, but “we quickly saw vast improvement as the drills progressed.”
The next step for Green Bay is underway. Getting into the mindset of operating underway is one reason Training Officer Lt. Reisheid Dixon feels the fast cruise was so important.
“A fast cruise should take a ship step-by-step through an actual underway period practicing special evolutions like, underway replenishments, anchoring, man overboard, flight operations and things of that nature,” said Dixon. “A successful fast cruise is met when the ship meets the Navy’s expectations that are driven by policy and instruction.”
“A Sailor might not realize it but getting into the habit of being underway again and dogging down a hatch, setting material conditions, and understanding where they need to be during special evolutions is important,” Dixon added.
Training does not end with the fast cruise. Green Bay has many of the same drills during upcoming underway schedules.
“We saw improvements with each and every drill we ran. It had been difficult since we just came out of the yard period we have not been able to utilize our flight deck,” said Lt. Jeffery Lessard, ship’s mini boss. “We are going to continue to run these drills throughout for certification and continue to run them for our own proficiency.”
Green Bay joins amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) and amphibious transport dock USS Rushmore (LPD 47) to create the Peleliu Amphibious Readiness Group, commanded by Amphibious Squadron Three, for training and deployment.