Officers from Djibouti, Seychelles and Yemen Train with U.S. Navy
Officers from three different countries recently embarked on USS Germantown the first week of April, 2008, to train with the United States Navy. The training, facilitated by Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and the crew of the USS Germantown, familiarized navy officers from Djibouti, Seychelles and Yemen with the way the U.S. Navy conducts business on a warship. The four-day event consisted of briefings, hands-on instruction, as well as demonstrations by USS Germantown crew members.
The coalition officers were briefed on navigation techniques, maintenance material management, and the Navy's preventive maintenance system. The visit board search and seizure (VBSS) team showcased some of the weapons and equipment used in their boarding parties, and took the coalition officers through formations and techniques used while conducting boarding operations.
The coalition officers got to try their hand at emergency pipe repair and fire hose handling, and USS Germantown's flight deck and "Smash and Crash" crews demonstrated their knowledge and professionalism as the Coalition officers observed fire drills for both aircraft and on ship mishaps.
Fireman Apprentice Kimo Wiseman, a member of USS Germantown's "Smash and Crash" team, was eager for the chance to show the officers how his training has prepared him for contingency situations.
"I'm excited to show these officers how we handle business," Wiseman said. "It's great to know that what I'm doing here today may help the officers when they get back to their home nations."
Commander Keith Moore, Commanding Officer of USS Germantown, said that the training was essential, especially for navies that have formed recently.
"We chose the particular topics because, from all we do, those were the things we felt would most benefit these countries, especially some of those navies in infancy," Moore said. "The damage control, maintenance and VBSS operations are central to what all ships do regardless of national flag. We felt the organization and some of the operations were key and those were the topics we chose to cover."
The training was well-received by the visiting officers. Djiboutian Navy Sub-Lieutenant Ibrahin Yousouf Dabar, commander of the Djibouti coast guard, said, "This is my first time on an American warship. I was happy to get instruction about damage control, especially firefighting."
All of the coalition officers were pleased with the training they were given. As they were leaving, Commander Moore asked if there was anything that could have been done better. The answer from all of the officers was the same: additional time and training with the Navy.
"If the coalition officers could take one thing with them, I would want them to take away how happy my crew was to have them aboard and to interface with them." said Moore.