ABOARD USS SAIPAN (NNS) -- Personnel from USS Saipan (LHA 2) Deck Department and visiting Marines were trained in the launching of Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) from the amphibious assault ship's well deck April 28 and 29 during a recent at-sea period.
Marines from The Basic School (TBS) Training Command in Quantico, Va., brought four AAVs with them from Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base to assist in one of Saipan's certifications, and in training their own personnel.
"The purpose of the AAV is to transport troops from the ship to the shore and to conduct operational maneuvers from the sea," said Marine Staff Sgt. Paul Emiro, the operations chief.
"We're here primarily to assist Saipan with the wet-well certification, and to keep the Marines current on embarking and debarking training," said Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tony Goodman, Instructor Battalion, TBS.
Casualty evacuations took place during the first day of training, with Deck personnel guiding and launching the AAVs out into the ocean, and bringing them back in safely.
Chief Boatswain's Mate (SW/AW) Scott Harpham, 2nd Division leading chief petty officer, was present at the launches to ensure everything went well.
"This is good training. It's been a long time since we've had AAVs on board, but everything's been going smoothly," he said.
Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Antoine Adron, from Saipan's safety department, attributed the skilled execution to the training off the coast of Haiti during Exercise New Horizons earlier this year.
"You've got all these guys launching vehicles at once, and you can always use another set of eyes during things like this," said Adron. "Back in Haiti, those guys were a little nervous, but after getting qualified during New Horizons, they're a lot more confident."
This training and the resulting qualifications are expected to pay great dividends in the coming months, and is helpful for Saipan Sailors to serve better as part of a Blue/Green team.
For related news, visit the USS Saipan (LHA 2) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lha2.