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Team Work in Djibouti Gets Ships Underway

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070529-30
Release Date: 5/29/2007 11:14:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mary Popejoy, Commander Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) successfully redeployed on May 28 thanks to the unified efforts from members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's (CJTF-HOA) 6th Provisional Security Company, Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, K-9 team, the U.S. Embassy and the Djiboutian military.

The teamwork between the U.S. military and their Djiboutian counterparts is essential when preparing a ship for a secure underway.

“If we don’t work together, it could cause the ship to be delayed, which in turn would delay replenishments at sea of other ships, which is why having things run smoothly is extremely important,” said U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Harry McBrien, 6th PSC operations chief.

McBrien went on to say that it’s truly a pleasure being able to work with his host nation counterparts.

“I really enjoy working with the Djiboutian military because they take great pride in making sure the ship, the pier and the Marines are safe from harm,” he said. “They are a great group of people and consummate professionals in every sense of the word.”

The friendship between the U.S. military and its host nation counterparts help make the crew of each ship feel as safe as if they were in their own backyard, McBrien explained.

“Our goal is to make them feel more secure here than anywhere else in the world, no matter what,” said McBrien. “We also want to know what our customers think about our service because their feedback is critical to our security success.”

The organizations involved with this particular underway are doing something right because the crew of the Kanawha had nothing but positive things to say about the service they were provided.

“The support here by far is the best we’ve received. I wish we could stay longer, but its time for us to move on and complete other missions," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW/ESW) William Day, tactical supervisor for Team Three of Mobile Security Detachment, Bahrain. "We feel very safe here with the Marines and their equipment and the Djiboutian military as well.”

The captain of the Kanawha also had positive things to say about the personnel and coordination.

“The service has been excellent,” said Capt. David Gommo. “I am very impressed with the total coordination of all the various elements because everything flowed smoothly and it got us underway right on schedule.”

The compliments by the crew make those who come out in triple-degree heat to get the ship underway very proud to be a part of these missions.

The compliments make the job worth it, but for Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW) Scott Gray, Camp Lemonier’s Operations leading chief petty officer it’s all about safety.

“As long as the ship gets underway safely, it’s a good day,” he said.

He went on to say that everything the embark team does is a work in progress because there’s always room to improve.

“We’re not perfect, but we’re close and I think that is the reason we’re paid such great compliments by our customers,” said Gray.

The U.S. military and the Djiboutian military continue to work together with perfection as their goal.

“We have great team work and everyone knows what each other is doing and that’s what makes us successful,” said Lt. Ahmed Daher Djama, senior officer in the Djiboutian Coast Guard and Navy. “I am very proud to work with my American friends when it comes to port security.”

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