USS Underwood Awards Foreign Officers Surface Warfare Qualification

Two foreign officers embarked the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36) and completed their surface warfare officer (SWO) qualification, Oct. 27.

Lt. Paolo Camogliano, a Peruvian naval officer, and Lt. Juan Granja, an Argentinean naval officer, both assigned to U.S. Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40, embarked Underwood Sept. 30 and began working on their qualifications immediately.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to be embarked on Underwood and work on this qualification,” said Granja. “The officers and crew were friendly and cooperative so that I could achieve this goal.”

Over the course of a month, they received training in different areas of watchstanding, including officer of the deck underway, conning officer, combat information center watch officer, and officer of the deck in port.

“The training was challenging, but rewarding in that I feel that I am a much better officer than I was when I embarked on Underwood,” said Camogliano.

In order to complete the qualification, Camogliano and Granja had to pass an oral examination board given by SWO qualified officers assigned to Underwood.

“The training we received prepared us for the oral board and I felt that we had no difficulties in passing it,” said Granja.

Cmdr. Peter T. Mirisola, the commanding officer of Underwood, awarded both officers the SWO qualification during a pinning ceremony in the wardroom of the ship after they passed their oral examination.

“I felt a sense of accomplishment as the captain pinned us,” said Camogliano. “I feel that I can take what I learned from this training and teach my navy when I go back to them. I would definitely encourage my countrymen to take this opportunity if it ever arises again to be on a U.S. Navy ship.”

Underwood is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of U.S. 4th Fleet’s mission, Southern Seas 2012.

COMUSNAVSO/COMFOURTHFLT supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

Naval Today Staff,October 30, 2012