USS Nitze Sailors Participate in Practice Strait Transit

Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) participated in a practice strait transit, Jan. 23.

In the scenario, the Nitze, along with Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), transited the fictional “Beryl Strait” off the coast of the equally fictional country “Amber.”

During the simulated transit, the small craft action team (SCAT) stationed at weapon mounts on board the ship closely monitored the actions of suspicious vessels.

“The scenario was pretty close to reality,” said Chief Gunner’s Mate David Hill, the anti-terrorism watch officer directing the crew-served weapons during the training scenario. “Although this was an extreme case, we need to prepare (for) anything.”

In the scenario, Nitze came under attack by small craft while transiting the strait.

“We were set up the way we will be when we transit future straits,” said Lt. Greg Trach, USS Nitze weapons officer.

“The scenario was run as if it was real,” said Hill. “When we see small boats inbound like we did today, we will act accordingly.”

During an actual strait transit, there will be many factors and possible dangers for the crew on the Nitze to look out for.

“Small boats are one of the many threats we need to be concerned with as we transit a strait,” said Trach.

During the practice strait transit, the crew on board the Nitze was able to defend the ship against the aggressors.

“We were able to use pre-planned responses until the threat increased to a level where the ship needed to defend itself,” said Trach.

“The aggressors displayed weapons, fired on us and we engaged them,” said Hill.

The purpose of the training is to get the crew used to what they may see in the worst case scenario. It gives them the ability to act immediately and without hesitation in a bad situation.

“The training is to prepare the crew in the event of an actual attack,” said Trach. “It will help them rely on training instead of freezing up when something goes wrong.”

“The crew was outstanding and professional even in this training environment,” said Hill. “They performed in the manner in which they were trained to defend the ship.”

Nitze is part of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, which is underway conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX is designed to bring every part of a strike group together to work effectively and efficiently as one cohesive unit, ensuring overall readiness prior to regular deployment.

Naval Today Staff , January 27, 2012