GULF OF ADEN – U.S. Navy Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) recently completed training for maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden during the month of December.
Chung-Hoon’s latest round of drills was a combined forces effort. U.S. Coast Guardsmen and U.S. Army Soldiers came aboard as instructors to help teach new techniques and tactics.
“Training’s going excellent,” said U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist 1st Class Michael Walden, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. “They’re very willing to learn. They’re actually grasping a lot.”
The instructors agreed that the different military branches need to be able to connect to and rely on each other in global areas of operations, no matter where.
“Clearly, the Army is more of a ground force,” said U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Alan Bland, who came out to Chung-Hoon from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “However, we are trying to build networks, in and around the AOR (area of responsibility), from the sea, for the land.”
Bland added that he was happy with the effort shown by Chung-Hoon’s maritime security team.
“We’ve been training with them the last couple days and I’m impressed with what
I’ve seen so far,” said Bland. “They’re motivated and willing to get the job done which is something I can appreciate.”
The training involved everything from boarding a vessel to close-quarters combat and survival.
“We’ve done medical training, and we’ve also gone over boarding procedures regarding specific vessels that they will encounter out here,” said Walden. “Medical [training] is very important as it can save your life during a boarding.”
Members of Chung-Hoon’s maritime operations team said that the training had been very helpful in making them get better.
“We’ve really picked up the pace on training,” said U.S. Navy Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Conor Diebel, from Winter Park, Florida. “We’re finally getting to really feel like a team because it’s been a while since we’ve had really good training like this.”
Chung-Hoon is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.