New Carl Vinson Quartermasters Gain Skills While TAD

Story Number: NNS090610-09Release Date: 6/10/2009 4:01:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Joel Carlson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

USS PORTER, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) sent two junior Sailors to temporary assigned duty (TAD) aboard USS Porter (DDG 78) in late April, for in-rate, at-sea training needed aboard the carrier.

With Carl Vinson undergoing a major overhaul in Newport News, Va., practical, real-life training can be limited for Sailors.

Quartermaster Seaman Apprentice Matthew Rivera and Quartermaster 3rd Class Matthew Trujillo spent nearly two months aboard the guided-missile destroyer, where the environment differs greatly from that of their permanent duty station.

"We've learned more here than would be possible in a shipyard environment," said Rivera. "With what we've learned on Porter, we can hopefully make a stronger navigation team back on Carl Vinson, with qualified quartermasters to get the ship where it needs to be safely during any mission."

According to Lt. j.g. Justin Neff, navigator aboard USS Porter, the benefit of having these two on board goes both ways.

"Both Trujillo and Rivera have been doing a great job while on board," said Neff. "They have gained a lot of in-rate experience which will help them as leaders and as quartermasters once they return to USS Carl Vinson."

Since their arrival on board Porter, the two Sailors have been kept quite busy with watchstanding, participating in three-section duty, detail plotting and assisting the commanding officer in safely navigating into and out of ports. Aside from daily duties, though, the Sailors have learned more than just how to function at sea.

"We've taken in some very valuable extra things, like taking and recording bearings, managing the deck log, Morse code and learning flag and signalman duties," said Trujillo. The two also took care of some regular shipboard qualifications, like Basic Material Maintenance and Management (3M).

With their time on board Porter drawing to a close, Trujillo and Rivera are prepared to pass on the practical knowledge they have to other shipmates waiting on board Carl Vinson.

"This time out here has been really beneficial for us," said Rivera. "We are learning our rate, and basically learning how to safely navigate the ship all over the world."

"It's very important that we don't keep this experience to ourselves, and that we train other junior Sailors back on board the carrier. We've got our qualifications, so now let's go back and teach the new guys," said Trujillo.

USS Carl Vinson is undergoing a refueling complex overhaul in Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and is scheduled to return to sea this summer.

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