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USS Jason Dunham Takes Part in VBSS Exercise

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120506-12
5/6/2012

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Jamieson, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

USS JASON DUNHAM, At Sea (NNS) -- Members of the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) conducted a simulated boarding of training support vessel Prevail (TSV 1), May 6.

The boarding exercise was conducted as a part of the Carrier Strike Group Eight composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) to provide hands-on training to VBSS team members before Jason Dunham's upcoming deployment.

"When you do one of these exercises, you never know what to expect," said VBSS team member, Ensign Ryan Kelly. "You have to rely on your training and the other team members, and that is exactly how it is in a real-world situation."

As part of the exercise, the team members boarded Prevail after Jason Dunham established bridge-to-bridge communications and determined Prevail qualified as a vessel of interest.

Once aboard Prevail, team members encountered a crew that was "uncooperative" and discovered contraband, including drugs and weapons.

"At that point, we knew we were going to have to detain the vessel," said team member, Quartermaster 2nd Class David Rodriguez. "We phoned back to Jason Dunham and had them send over the ship-control team."

A ship-control team takes control of detained vessels and consists of damage control, deck and engineering personnel fully capable of controlling and managing any situation a vessel might encounter while transiting to the nearest port.

"We were fully prepared to take control and stay on the ship for 24-48 hours," said ship-control team member, Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Ronald Virgin.

After the ship-control team demonstrated their ability to navigate and control the ship both teams were called together for debriefing.

"We had a successful boarding and learned a lot during the exercise," said Kelly. "We just want to keep this momentum going into our deployment. We can't know what we might see out there, but I think we all realize we can trust each other during a boarding. That's all you can really ask."

Jason Dunham is a part of Carrier Strike Group Eight, which is underway conducting a COMPTUEX in the Atlantic Ocean.




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