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USS Trenton Crew Trains Indian Navy

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061223-05
Release Date: 12/23/2006 4:57:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chad A. Hallford, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Throughout the month of December, Sailors of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Trenton (LPD 14) have been conducting general shipboard training with the Indian navy.

In early November nearly 300 Indian sailors joined the crew of Trenton to begin preparing for the ship’s decommissioning and transfer Jan. 17, 2007.

“Our goal was to find out what their knowledge level was and how they operate; take that and build on it,” said Chief Aviations Boatswain’s Mate (Handler)(AW) Jason Stanley, Trenton’s air department leading chief petty officer.

Building on this knowledge included classroom instruction, shipboard training in port, and training while underway emphasizing safety.

“Safety is always number one. With the lives that are at stake and the equipment being used,” said Stanley, “(We’re trying) to make sure they feel safe with our equipment, know where everything is, and how it works, effectively and efficiently.”

Every department on Trenton was involved in training. From engineers to deck seamen; operations specialist to ship’s servicemen, the entire crew played a part in explaining and training the foreign sailors on all critical elements to successful operations of the ship.

“(Training them) helps with our professional development,” said Cmdr. Samuel Norton, commanding officer of Trenton.

Trenton’s main capabilities involve helicopter flight operations, amphibious landing of small craft, and emergency response.

“Working hand-to-hand, it gives them that on the job training which firefighters learn best from,” said Stanley commenting on various elements of the shipboard training.

Fire fighting, damage control, underway replenishment, navigation and recovery of small craft - and how they are performed onboard the Trenton - are just some of the topics of training the Indian navy must master before returning home with their new ship.

The Indian navy purchased Trenton and four Mark Eight landing craft along with six H-3 Sea King helicopters.

“It has been rewarding to show them what we do and make sure we are setting them up for success,” said Stanley.

Practicing for success with an ally fosters confidence between each other, and holds each nation responsible to “hold up our end of the bargain” said Norton.

“When it’s time for the ship to be decommissioned, it’s a hard time (for the crew),” said Norton, “but with us turning the ship over to the Indian navy, the Trenton will live on with a different name.”

The Indian navy will take the Trenton following the decommissioning and transfer ceremony Jan. 17, 2007 and rename her INS Jalashva.

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