Military Sealift Command civilian mariners trained on weapons handling and transfer procedures

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March 30, 2011

USS Frank Cable (AS 40) sailors trained Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian mariners (CIVMARS) on weapons handling and transfer procedures for the first time on board the ship, March 22.

The training involved the Sailors attaching a 3,000- pound, inert presettable launchable vehicle (PLV) torpedo to an MSC-operated crane while moving it from its case to a munitions transporter and back.

“The evolution went extremely well,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Lucian King, quality assurance safety observer. “The civilian mariners’ dedication to learn and the eagerness of the Sailors to work together with MSC matched up perfectly to help support the mission of the ship.”

As part of its mission, Frank Cable is to transfer torpedoes, tomahawk missiles, small arms and ammunitions to submarines and surface ships moored alongside at anchorage. The ship’s CIVMAR crew must be specially trained and qualified to support these evolutions.

Frank Cable and its sister ship USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) have hybrid crews of CIVMARS and Sailors. The CIVMARs are responsible for the deck department, engineering plant, galley and steward services.

“We look to have MSC fully qualified in all weapons training by the middle of next month,” said Ensign Kenneth Ekhart, torpedo handling officer. “When qualified, MSC will conduct the crane operations with weapon movements from the pier to the Cable, and from the ship to the submarines or surface ships moored alongside.”

To meet this requirement, Frank Cable has incorporated training briefs for 19 MSC personnel on weapons safety and handling techniques with inert PLVs. The ordinance conditioning of MSC has been ongoing for the last three months and is scheduled to continue through the middle of April.

“The training was good,” said MSC Boatswain’s Mate Tuaina Togotogo. “This was the first time I transferred ordnance outside of the crate, and it showed me the high importance of our job when conducting weapon movements to the submarines alongside the ship.”

Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

Pictured: USS Frank Cable

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