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Swift Crews Turnover in Preparation For APS

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110627-04

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ian Carver, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The Gold Crew of High Speed Vessel SWIFT (HSV 2) exchanged command June 21 with Swift's Blue Crew at Naval Station Rota in preparation for its upcoming Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011 deployment.

With a rotational manning concept, crew turnovers are a common occurrence aboard Swift, substituting crews every four months, allowing Swift to remain forward deployed nearly the entire year, thus enhancing its operational impact to the fleet.

Swifts' Gold Crew recently completed a 122-day deployment, covering more than 15,000 nautical miles, 37 stops in 14 countries during its participation in Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2011 and the multinational training exercise African Lion 2011.

"During every crew turnover our goal is to not interrupt the mission," said Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth T. Creameans, officer in charge of Swifts' Gold Crew. "Having two crews allows Swift to always have a presence wherever and whenever it's needed."

When a crew is not deployed, individuals have the opportunity to attend technical schools that help enhance mission readiness, troubleshoot and resolve any issues they may have had during their deployment.

"Having two crews helps to break the monotony of a six or seven-month deployment," said Chief Warrant Officer Ronald J. McMiller, assistant officer in charge of Blue Crew. "The time at home gives Sailors time to regroup and focus on the next mission."

Swift's current mission is taking part in APS visiting eight West African countries to deliver goodwill items sponsored by Project Hand Clasp and hosting maritime training courses for military and civilian members.

In addition to mission readiness of the vessel, McMiller highlighted both crew's ability to represent the Navy and United States in building long lasting partnerships and strengthening our oceans security.

"Both crews of Swift conduct themselves as great ambassadors for the United States," said McMiller.

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