USS Pearl Harbor, At Sea (NNS) -- Firing two BQM-74E target drones off the Dock Landing Ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) flight decks, the Fleet Composite (VC) 6 Squadron supported the UNITAS exercise underway in the Atlantic by simulating a live-air attack May 7.
VC-6 crew provides targeted services to air and surface units of the Fleet and allied forces. In the case of UNITAS, they provided drone missiles and ran the scenario. In other instances, these scenarios could include land-based operations, gunnery training, or terrorist attacks.
"Our mission is to train and test the ship's protection procedures against time-critical-high speed targets," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Alfredo Contreras. "We use realistic scenarios that force the ship to react to and be selective enough to define not only the attack, but also determine which ship is the target of the attack and how to execute the appropriate defensive measures."
VC-6 team members ensure the proper configuration of the target and maintenance as well as troubleshooting before it launches.
According to Lt. Rico Magbanua, remote control operator, crew members from VC-6 are important key players in the process of breaking out, building-up, transporting, loading, arming, starting and launching of the target. Being familiar and paying attention to detail are important to establish safety and an effective operation.
UNITAS 48-07, a multinational exercise hosted by Argentina this year, is designed to increase interoperability of navies in the Americas and throughout the world. Nations participating this year are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain and the United States.
UNITAS, which has been executed for 48 years, strengthens relationships with partner nations during various maritime scenarios. These exercises are conducted annually in Atlantic and Pacific waters around South America. Along with navies from the Americas, Spain is also participating in UNITAS Atlantic phase this year.
The U.S. Navy representative is Task Group 40.0, which consists of Pearl Harbor, Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57), Guided Missile Frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) and Chilean Frigate CS Almirante Latorre (FFG 14), under the tactical command of Capt. Randy Snyder, commander destroyer squadron Four Zero.
VC-6 "Firebees" provide the assets needed to train global maritime forces to be combat ready through a variety of simulated threats. The Firebees are home-ported in Dam Neck, Va.
For more information on Fleet Composite Squadron (VC) 6 Firebees go to http://www.navy.mil/homepages/vc6/.
For more information on UNITAS 48-07 visit http://www.cusns.navy.mil.
For more news, visit the USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lsd52/.