PACIFIC OCEAN (April 8, 2017) Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jason Alexander (left), a native of Roseville, Calif., and Cpl. Austin Kutz, a native of Green Lake, Wisc., both assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, race up the ramp leading from the vehicle stowage area to the hangar bay during a physical training held during resiliency training aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). America is currently underway with more than 1,000 Sailors and 1,600 Marines conducting Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration operations in preparation for the ship's maiden deployment later this year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Benjamin Wooddy/Released)
Sailors, Marines Participate in Resiliency Training

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) participated in resiliency training in the ship’s lower vehicle stowage area, April 8.

The resiliency training is designed to more closely integrate America’s blue/green team through group physical fitness sessions while establishing fluid work relationships to better prepare the Amphibious Readiness Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) for a successful deployment.

“We did a lot of relay-type training, [on the ship’s incline ramps],” said Marine Cpl. Emmanuel Carrera, a native of Quito, Ecuador, assigned to 15th MEU. “I don’t know a lot of these people, so it’s nice to bond with them over a great PT session. This session made me think that if we can get through this together, we’re going to get through a lot of other things too and the camaraderie we’ve built will make deployment easier to handle.”

Additionally, the core of the program aims to improve interactions between Sailors and Marines with guided discussions and encourages teambuilding.

“There are many times where we’ll be a green team or a blue team, a Navy team or a Marine Corps team, but this — the MEU ARG — is an opportunity for us to come together and work as one unit to do whatever it is that our nation asks us to do,” said Navy Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. James Myers, assigned to 15th MEU and a native of Pennsville, N.J.,. “This [resiliency training] will be a part of our weekly routine so that people will look forward to it. It gives them a slight break to get to know one another and trust one another.”

According to Myers, the benefits of participating in resiliency training play an integral part in boosting morale.

“We really believe that if you have resilient Sailors and Marines there may be less liberty risks, less problems at home, less personal issues, less suicidal ideations, and less stress, because they’ll have the opportunity to work those out in this environment among people they trust,” he said.

America’s Command Master Chief (SW) Kenneth Robertson echoed Myers’ sentiments in a group huddle following the cardio heavy workout.

“Once the rest of the crew see more blue/green integration, they’ll feed off of it, and everyone will have a great deployment,” said Robertson, a native of Houston.

Under the leadership of Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF) Jean Molina, a native of Brownsville, Texas, Sailors and Marines participated in a physical fitness regiment encompassing both the Navy and Marine cultures of fitness.

“Our culture of fitness not only includes the physical aspect, but the emotional and mental well-being of all our personnel,” said Molina. “Our workout wasn’t to break them, but make them feel engaged. We practiced speed and endurance, [which are both] components of the Navy physical readiness test and the Marine physical fitness test..”

According to Molina, leadership has high hopes that resiliency training will become a staple of deployment and encourage all Sailors and Marines to attend every week.

“This session was just a taste of what’s great about our integration here and of what’s to come in the future,” said Molina. “This is a program to bond every component within the 15th MEU and America personnel.”

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa class of amphibious assault ships and is homeported in San Diego. As an aviation centric amphibious assault ship, this platform supports Marine aviation requirements, from small-scale contingency operations of an expeditionary strike group, to forcible entry missions in major theaters of war. The ship is currently underway with more than 1,000 Sailors and 1,600 embarked Marines conducting Amphibious Squadron / Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration operations.

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