USS Germantown (LSD 42) Sailors work toward amphibious warfare certification 

Sept. 27, 2011 - Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Dennis Castro, left, and Boatswain's Mate Seaman Ulyses Morero splice a line aboard the forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42). Germantown is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Mickler/Released)
USS GERMANTOWN (LSD 42) Works to Gain Amphibious Warfare Certification 
by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Mickler, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs 
SASEBO, Japan - Sailors aboard forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) worked toward amphibious warfare (AMW) certification Sept. 23.

USS Germantown must gain certification to perform amphibious operations, and is being tested by inspectors from Naval Beach Group 1.

"The amphibious warfare mission is our primary mission. Without that ability we can't be an asset to the U.S. Navy", said Cmdr. Jason Leach, Germantown executive officer. "That's the whole reason we are out here".

The certification process will take several days, in which inspectors will observe and test the crew in operationally critical areas.

"We're out here to check the preparedness of our forward-deployed assets," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Robert Saenz, of Naval Beach Group 1. "We assess the readiness and training of the crew in any area that involves the well deck operations including cranes, material conditions as well as small boat operations."

"So far they are doing great from top to bottom; this is what we see if the ship has good leadership and training," said Saenz.

Many of the crew members attribute their success during the certification thus far to the things they do on a daily basis.

"Train, train, train, even when we don't have any vehicles aboard we'll use a make-shift dummy so that we can keep training for an actual incident," said Damage Controlman Fireman Bryce Griffin. "That's why our team is getting the job done for this AMW certification".

"We deploy and operate a lot, and whenever we train we always go back to the basics," said Leach. "We always review and follow the instruction that way our Sailors know what to do."

Crew members aboard Germantown and inspectors will continue the certification process while embarking elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in Okinawa.

USS Germantown is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.

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