USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- To better fight the global war on terrorism, Sailors and Marines worked together on board USS Nassau (LHA 4) Aug. 28 to put troops right where they need to be, distant shores.
The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has been attached to Nassau for training operations in preparation for the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group's (ESG) upcoming deployment early next year. The 24th MEU embarked Nassau for the a one-week Type Commander's Afloat Training period, or TCAT -- the first in a series of preparatory workups that will certify the strike group fit for deployment. The ship is currently afloat with USS Ashland (LSD 48) and USS Nashville (LPD 13).
"The purpose of these training ops [operations] on Nassau is to familiarize Marines with operating on the ship," said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Bruce Womack. "The Navy's been supportive of everything that we've done."
"The reason we train is so we can learn each other's standard operating procedures," said Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Bargallo. "There's the way the Marine Corps operates, just like there's a certain way the Navy operates. For a lot of these Sailors this is the first time seeing Marines and Marine equipment on board an amphibious ship like this. It's been an experience."
During TCAT, the Air Combat Element from the 24th MEU conducted several training flight scenarios as they worked toward receiving their Deck Landing Qualifications, or DLQ's. For some Marine Corps pilots, this was their first time landing on a Navy ship.
"The flight deck is always busy," said Bargallo. "We've got the pilots of the Air Combat Element doing their DLQ's, which means they're getting their first time landing in a tight space. Most of these guys have come from the desert."
Personnel in the ship's well deck also got to work with several of the landing craft that transport Marines from ship to shore.
"It's been great down there in the well deck," said Bargallo. "These operations give the personnel there a chance to work with LCU's, the landing craft [utilities], and the LCAC's, the landing craft air cushions, that they've never seen before except maybe in movies."
The Nassau ESG is made up of Sailors from six U.S. Navy ships and is augmented by warriors from the Marine Corps' 24th MEU. The strike group is currently preparing for its regularly-scheduled deployment in early 2008.
For more news from USS Nassau, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/lha4/.