PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to guided-missile cruiser
USS Bunker Hill (CG 52)'s Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team boarded Marine Vessel (M/V) Atlas, a simulated cargo ship used for training Aug. 2.
The exercise was part of Bunker Hill's composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), where the VBSS team trained to repel simulated hostile forces and provide assistance on an underway vessel.
"Today's evolution had the uniqueness of having to deter pirates that were already alongside, which required some forceful measures," said Lt. William T. Kranz, Bunker Hill's weapons officer and team lead for VBSS.
The VBSS mission is designed to help maintain the safety of sea lanes and it is employed in a variety of situations when deployed.
"There may be times when the ship we're boarding needs assistance with engineering, flooding or fire," Kranz said. "Today, the ship reported flooding, so after we secured the ship, we sent over our engineers to assist in controlling a simulated flooding casualty."
Kranz said this sort of assistance isn't typical of what the team will see, but when ships are in distress, Bunker Hill will be ready to provide whatever assistance is needed.
"We can't predict what awaits us over the horizon," he said. "But we can know with great certainty that after we complete COMPTUEX we will be ready to face any and all challenges."
Bunker Hill is part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, which is conducting its final pre-deployment evaluation to ensure safe and effective coordination within the strike group to achieve mission readiness and the ability to effectively execute the Navy's maritime strategy. Following the successful completion of COMPTUEX, the TRCSG will conduct worldwide operations in an upcoming deployment.
TRCSG is comprised of Carrier Strike Group 9, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and the DESRON 23 ships: the guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Sampson (DDG 102), as well as USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).
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