By Ensign Michael Lundahl
SAN DIEGO – The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS GARY (FFG 51) hosted 29 civilian leaders from both the private and public sector from across the country as part of the Leaders to Sea (LTS) program Nov. 3-6.

LTS is a Naval Surface Forces-administered Rear Adm. Thompson award winning public affairs program that provides an opportunity for influential community leaders, business executives, political leaders, or media executives to experience life at sea first hand on surface ships.

“We’re always proud to show off our fine ship and crew to the citizens who entrust us with securing American freedom,” said Gary’s executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Brad Miller.

Groups of six to eight distinguished visitors embarked the ship over the course of four days and each group spent approximately seven hours touring the ship. The visitors also met with Sailors and observed the daily routine.

Gary’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Dan Senesky, welcomed each group as they arrived before they left to see various watchstations, including the bridge, combat information center, and central control station, where the engineering plant is monitored and controlled. The groups also experience repair locker training and observed helicopter proficiency landings with one of the local helicopter squadrons.

Wherever possible, the visitors were integrated into the daily routine of the ship, which for Gary, which is preparing for a deployment early next year, included lots of training evolutions.

“[The visit] really impacted my opinion of the military, and I would definitely advise students of the opportunities of military service,” said Aaron Bruce, Director of Diversity at San Diego State University.
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