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Gonzalez Conducts ESWS Qualification Program Assessment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050705-11
Release Date: 7/5/2005 8:12:00 PM

From USS Gonzalez Public Affairs

INDIAN OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) celebrated the midway point of its scheduled six month deployment June 25 and took the opportunity to assess a major personnel program.

The command reviewed the progress of the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) program that was put into place by Command Master Chief Charles Carnahan shortly after his arrival in 2004.

“I am very happy with the progress we have made in qualifying our Sailors as Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists. It is truly the mark of an enlisted professional surface warrior,” said Gonzalez Commanding Officer Cmdr. J.T. Griffin.

The program has a simple goal: qualify at least 75 Sailors by the time the Gonzalez crew turns the ship over to the crew of USS Stout (DDG 55) in late September as part of the Navy’s Sea Swap program. Once they turn the ship over, their deployment will end, and they will return to Norfolk to assume control of Stout.

So far, the ship has qualified 24 Sailors since deploying March 25 from Norfolk, Va. Many other Sailors have made tremendous progress toward their qualifications, and the ship is well on its way to achieving its goal of 75.

The most recent ESWS qualifications were earned by Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class (SW) Eric G. Erickson, Storekeeper 2nd Class (SW) Lagretta Wright, Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class (SW) Stephen R. Gibson, Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Emelio G. Rush, Fire Controlman 3rd Class (SW) Richard E. Doll, Electronics Technician 3rd Class (SW) Eugene R. Jordan, Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class (SW) Warren P. Campbell, Gunner's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Katharine Belford, Storekeeper 3rd Class (SW) Allan Ysunza and Boatswain's Mate Seaman (SW) Jamie Marriott.

The ship also celebrated “hump day” with a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon ceremony on the mess decks, followed by the cutting of a large cake by the most senior and most junior sailors receiving their Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and dedicated it to the crew and their hard work. A Sailor is awarded the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon for deploying on a ship at sea for 90 consecutive days.

Gonzalez is part of the Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group currently on station for a six month deployment to conduct Maritime Security Operations.

Maritime Security Operations (MSO) set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.




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