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Frank Cable Partners with Philippine Navy to Repair Ship

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120915-08

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs

SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) volunteered to assist the Philippine frigate BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF 15) with maintenance, technical assistance and training while visiting Subic Bay, Sept. 3-12.

In addition to the planned tended support Frank Cable was providing to the Virginia-class submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776), Frank Cable's crewmembers had an opportunity to work with the Gregardio Del Pilar sailors, assisting in maintenance and training.

"They have helped us a lot," said Capt. Alberto Cruz, the commanding officer of Gregorio Del Pilar. "The technical knowledge of this equipment that we received from the United States last year is new to us, so we needed the help."

Gregorio Del Pilar is the former USCGC Hamilton (WHEC 715) transferred to the Republic of the Philippines navy, May 13, 2011, under the Excess Defense Articles Act and Foreign Assistance Act.

"It came down to the chain of command that they were looking for volunteers with specific skills to go over there," said Gunner's Mate 1st Class Jason Moorehead. "I am pretty knowledgeable in the systems, so I said, 'yes, I'll go over and give them a hand.'"

Moorehead and other volunteers worked with the Philippine sailors to troubleshoot and train on various systems and components, including their propulsion diesel engines, desalinization plant, navigational gyroscopes, safety and gunnery equipment. The efforts resulted in improved and more reliable operation of each component which enhanced overall operational capabilities of the ship.

"Your guys are very enthusiastic to share their knowledge," said Lt. j. g. Willie Nefalar, Gregorio Del Pilar's main propulsion assistant. "I can see that they have teamwork. To solve a problem, they brainstorm their knowledge on how to come up with a solution."

The crewmembers shared maintenance safety procedures, helped track down missing technical publications, and consulted with U.S. Coast Guard engineers in Alameda, Calif.

"I liked working with people that wanted to learn and that are enthusiastic about it," said Moorehead. "They really want to know their job. For me to share that knowledge with people that want to learn, it is a really nice experience for me."

Aboard the Frank Cable, the Repair Department overhauled high pressure valves, calibrated gauges and provided training on test equipment. The Supply Department helped research stock numbers and ordered over $58,000 in parts for them as well.

"It was great to see the ship with its complete compliment of equipment," said Cruz after a tour aboard the Frank Cable. "Everything you could possibly need is there."

The Sailors also worked together in training and implementing a safety tag-out program for crew of the Gregorio Del Pilar to develop a program that better suits their operations.

"It was a very successful repair effort that we coordinated with Philippine navy sailors," said Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Banks. "The Sailors on both sides learned a lot."

This visit to Subic Bay is the first foreign port Frank Cable has visited since finishing its dry dock period in Portland, Ore. After spending six months of extensive work, Frank Cable returned to Guam ready to continue its mission in the Western Pacific.

Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

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