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USS Ross Leaves Neptune Warrior Ready For Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060315-23
Release Date: 3/15/2006 3:43:00 PM

By Ensign Chris Robbins, USS Ross Public Affairs

WESTERN ATLANTIC (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) left Faslane, Scotland, March 10 after completing Neptune Warrior, an intense coalition course with British and German warships.

In company with guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) and frigate USS Elrod (FFG 55), the Ross crew participated in the exercise as part of their work up for an upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

From Feb. 23 to March 10, Ross was subjected to simulated attack at all times of day from a diverse group of threats. The scheduled events and surprise attacks were designed to test all warfare areas, from anti-submarine warfare to air warfare.

Even before Ross left the River Clyde, she was under attack by high speed small craft, courtesy of the Royal Marines’ special boat teams, requiring Ross to perform high speed maneuvering in a confined space. The assault tested the crew’s ability to deal with a surprise threat during an otherwise routine Sea and Anchor evolution.

As the course continued, Ross performed Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), engaging their Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Team in the search for contraband and weapons aboard contracted vessels off the coast of Scotland. The scenarios were designed to represent real-world situations in which participants did not know anything about the situation apart from a vessel’s name and description. These scenarios also proved to be dynamic, including small boat attacks during boarding exercises.

“Neptune Warrior was unique in that it challenged us with a wide range of situations that could occur at any given time,” said Ensign Joshua Rojas, of Sacramento, Calif. “Its uniqueness lay in the fact that it was completely unscripted for us.”

Halfway through Neptune Warrior, the participants were divided into two groups. The crews then had to perform operations under the constant threat of attack from the opposing players. The exercise culminated in a battle that included all the ships of both sides.

Ross plans one more liberty port before she starts her journey home to Norfolk, Va. Neptune Warrior will certify Ross for her upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

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