Lincoln Quartermaster Lends Expertise

Story Number: NNS080610-10Release Date: 6/10/2008 2:05:00 PM
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By Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Ashley Houp, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

ABOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (NNS) -- On loan from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), a quartermaster (QM) returned from a two-month additional duty assignment to USS Shoup (DDG 86) to assist the guided-missile destroyer, June 7.

Quartermaster Seaman Apprentice Keren Figueroa of Lincoln's Navigation Department was selected for a temporary assigned duty (TAD) aboard Shoup and assisted the ship and obtained in-rate qualification training.

While Lincoln is supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf during her seven-month deployment, the carrier sometimes sends Sailors on temporary duty to other strike group ships in need of assistance.

As a quartermaster, Figueroa's duties include navigating the ship, as well as the maintenance, correction and preparation of nautical charts. She is also responsible for navigational instruments, clocks and the training of ship's lookouts.

"While on was I on the destroyer, I acquired most of my basic qualifications that I need before I can be a qualified quartermaster," Figueroa said. "My main goal was to become well-rounded in all areas of my rate, so when I returned to Lincoln, I could help out my [Navigation] division with tasks such as chart corrections and even help teach my fellow QMs some new 'tricks of the trade' that I have learned."

Senior Chief Quartermaster (SW) Dex Watson, leading chief petty officer of Lincoln's Navigation Department, explained Figueroa was selected to go to Shoup to provide QM rating assistance.

"USS Shoup is undermanned in several rating areas and quartermaster is one of the ratings needing help," Watson said.

Watson said life on a naval destroyer is much different than daily life on an aircraft carrier.

"Life aboard other ships as a QM is much faster paced because of the low number of QMs and their requirement to be engaged command-wide," Watson said. "Lincoln has sent a vast majority of QMs TAD to assist other ships in order to gain additional experience."

Figueroa noted how different naval ships operate and accomplish tasks.

"Being on a small ship definitely makes it a lot easier to learn skills in my rate because I stand so many watches and everyone is so willing to help you out," Figueroa said.

Aboard Shoup, teamwork is crucial, Figueroa explained.

"When we set the navigation detail on Shoup, we do not just have quartermasters as bearing takers, we have hospital corpsmen and Navy counselors helping out," Figueroa said. "When we have [underway replenishments], it is an all-hands working party. On the Shoup, you have chiefs and officers helping out with stores and moving supplies about the ship," Figueroa said.

Figueroa enlisted in Navy under the National Call to Service (NCS) program, a two-year enlistment program.

"I am NCS, so my short time in the Navy would have not allowed me such an awesome opportunity if it wasn't for Senior Chief Watson sending me here," Figueroa said. "I have found some of the most motivated Sailors here aboard USS Shoup, and the experience has definitely been rewarding and humbling. It's one experience that I will take with me."

Shoup is part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is deployed to the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet area of responsibility to support MSO. MSO help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

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