NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- A contingent of 16 U.S. Coast Guard cutters from Boston departed Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport's Pier 2 Aug. 25 following the conclusion of the district's 2011 Operations, Training, and Readiness conference.
The cutters arrived Aug. 21 for classroom training and conferences using facilities at the Officers' Club, Callaghan Hall, the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Combat Training Pool, Port Operations, and Pier 2. A total of 380 Coast Guard personnel representing 29 cutters assigned to the district's area of operation attended the training.
"Naval Station Newport is central to our AOR (area of operations)," said Rear Adm. Dan Neptun, commander, Coast Guard District 1, Boston. "Holding this conference at Naval Station Newport allows us to use a resource where we can train hundreds of personnel at one time."
Lt. Cmdr. Tom Murray, district cutter management staff, said two things made the conference important.
"It allows us to reset our expectations and standardize processes within the district," he said. "We want feedback from the fleet because it helps to drive policy. It's an opportunity for the commanding officers in the fleet to communicate their concerns and the emerging trends they see."
"This is an opportunity to get all the cutters together to synchronize best practices and tips for success in the fleet," said Lt. Chris Nolan, commanding officer, USCGC Jefferson Island (WPB 1340).
"We're learning how to keep the water ways safe so that ships can navigate the waters," said Coast Guard Seaman Matthew Pelrine, assigned to the cutter Katherine Walker (WLM 552). "This training on the aids to navigation is very helpful. I'll know what to do when I get back to my unit."
Conditioning drills, confidence drills, a physical fitness test, a swim test, and rescue procedures training were conducted at the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Combat Training Pool for cutter surface swimmers.
"In terms of the maritime strategy, this conference will help us do it better by working together and sharing best practices," Neptun said. "The Navy and Coast Guard have a lot in common. The more we understand about each other and our ways of doing things, the more effective we'll be over the long haul. Our mission is to provide a safe maritime environment for the public we serve."
For more news from Naval Station Newport, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsnewport/.