PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) – Forward-deployed Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit Five conducted a helicopter visit, board, search and seizure drill onboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) June 25 while operating in the Philippine Sea.
The EOD team is currently supporting Task Force 70 underway onboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). As part of a training exercise, the team flew from Ronald Reagan on an MH-60S Sea Hawk assigned to the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12, and fast roped down onto McCampbell’s deck.
"The goal of VBSS training is to have our personnel increase their proficiency in taking down any high value assets or possible maritime threats," said Lt. Colynn Cook, Platoon Commander, 522. "Our team's performance during the evolution showed me the professionalism that we can maintain during fast moving training."
During the training evolution, the team fanned out and looked for cover after touching down on deck before grouping up and going inside the skin of the ship.
"This was my first time doing an HVBSS drill on a destroyer at sea," said Explosive Ordnance Disposal 3rd Class Nick Healey, a sailor attached to EOD Mobile Unit Five. "It’s always good to receive training whenever we can. Evolutions like this are very fast paced and the more times we get to run through it, the more prepared we are for real life situations."
When inside the ship, the team separate into groups and begins searching main areas of the ship such as the bridge and engine room.
"Time is essential during HVBSS and making sure the unit fast ropes quickly and efficiently is a key to success for the evolution," said Healey. "I was the acting helicopter rope suspense techniques master during our drill, and I was responsible to make sure the team suspended onto McCampbell’s deck as quick and as safe as possible."
CTF 70’s forward deployed forces ensure security and stability in the Indo-Pacific Region by providing credible, ready forces help to preserve peace and prevent conflict. Forward-deployed forces act as force multipliers for the Navy enabling a response time in days instead of the weeks it would take units from the United States to respond. With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.
CTF 70 is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.