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NAVSTA Rota Plays Host to Sea Swap

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050918-07
Release Date: 9/18/2005 9:30:00 PM

By Journalist 1st Class Terry Dillon, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Naval Station Rota hosted the incoming crew of USS Stout (DDG 55) during a four-day operation that began Sept. 10.

The crew is en route to relieve the crew of USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), which is currently underway, as part of the Sea Swap initiative.

Sea Swap is an initiative implemented by the Navy in order to maximize a ship's deployment time will retaining a six-month deployment for the ship's crew.

The initiative extends the ship's deployment from six months to nearly a year or longer while swapping crews in mid-deployment. At the halfway point in the cruise, a relief crew from a sister ship is flown in to man the deployed ship.

The crew from Stout was lodged at Rota's bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ) and bachelor officer quarters (BOQ) during their stay. Several Rota departments worked together to arrange base access and transportation during the crew's stay.

“The base works together to provide all the requirements,” said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel L. Norton, Naval Station Rota assistant supply officer. “Air Operations and the air terminal brought in the aircraft and processed the crew as they stepped into sunny Spain to enjoy a ‘quality of life’ port visit.”

Jesus Alegre Figueroa, manager of Naval Station Rota's visitors quarters, said Sea Swap was an extraordinary event due to the number of rooms necessary to house everyone. He provided adequate lodging for 300 Sailors and officers and used all BEQ rooms plus some BOQ rooms. Additionally, rooms in the chief petty officers' and officer’s building at the Seabee camp, Camp Mitchell, were needed to fully accommodate the group.

“We rechecked all of our rooms at bachelor housing and at the Seabee camp before the arrival to be sure that all rooms were in good shape,” said Alegre. “The housekeeping department has worked hard on this for about two weeks.”

During their stay in the barracks, the galley provided meals for the crew. The ship’s crew simply provided a letter and a list of authorized crew members so the galley would receive funding required to pay for meals.

“With teamwork throughout the base, the crew swap of USS Gonzalez is just another day on the job for a strategic logistics base here in Rota, Spain,” said Norton.

In addition to the supply department, Naval Station Rota Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department provided various tours and events during Stout’s stay.

According to Tom Moriarty, naval station MWR director, the support MWR provides is comparable to what they plan for any visiting ships. However, for the Stout group, they developed a template of events, and the crews chose the events in which they wanted to participate.

“I hope they enjoyed their time here, as the staff worked hard to provide great events,” said Moriarty.

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