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Mount Whitney Completes ATFP Certification

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100225-24
Release Date: 2/25/2010 9:31:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Sylvia Nealy, USS Mount Whitney Public Affairs

GAETA, Italy (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) completed the ships Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) Certification Feb. 15-17.

The certification consisted of three consecutive days of ATFP training scenarios. Assessors from Afloat Training Group (ATG) based out of Norfolk, Va., came aboard and graded the crew's ability to defend against attacks from the land, sea and air.

"The training we provided to the crew members is very effective and it gives them the basic knowledge of how to operate both the .50-caliber and M-60 Machine Gun weapons," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Brenda Hernandez-Ortiz, one of the Anti-Terrorism Training Team (ATTT) members. "These weapons are the first line of defense for the ship during land, surface, and airborne attacks."

During the assessment, Sailors were tested on Force Protection and Security alert scenarios which demonstrated how they can protect the ship against threats. These simulated attacks included bomb threat, floating objects in the water, hostage situation, ship intruder, swimmer attack, and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

"The goal of ATG is to establish and ensure the ships training team is self sufficient and has the ability to train its crew in the defense and warfighting capabilities concurrent with its mission," said Lt. j.g. Lyon Ellison, Mount Whitney's anti-terrorism officer.

ATTT members hold training daily to ensure Sailors possess the proper knowledge and can react quickly to the various threats presented. The Sailors are also required to complete gun shoot and full-weapons qualifications.

"I am very pleased with the vast improvement of the crew members within a three-week period," said Chief Boatswain's Mate (EXW/SW) Guy Groux, ATG Team Leader for ATFP.

"The Sailors took charge, showed a lot of enthusiasm, and were confident in their ability to protect and defend the ship."

Mount Whitney is the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship. It is homeported in Gaeta, Italy and operates with a hybrid crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command, civilian mariners.

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