CONSTANTA, Romania — USS John L. Hall (FFG 32) recently completed a successful Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) port visit here.
From Feb. 15-19, John L. Hall’s Sailors participated in various community relations events, conducted hands-on training with the Romanian Navy and executed underway training with one of Romania’s three frigates.
Training included damage control, towing, anti-submarine warfare exercise planning, maritime interdiction and helicopter operations from ships at sea.
“It was a very good experience to see how the Romanian Navy does their towing. There were many similarities between our techniques and procedures,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Tarek Manun.
John L. Hall also hosted boarding teams from three Romanian ships for training on weapons safety, tactical movements, and compartment clearing and searches. John L. Hall’s visit, board, search and seizure team conducted a compliant boarding exercise on the Romanian Frigate Regele Ferdinand (F 221) at sea, followed by a question and answer session with the Romanian boarding team members and a handful of reporters from the local press.
“We had a lot of fun working and training with the Romanian boarding teams. They had a couple of experienced boarding team members who gave us good ideas about how they operate in their service,” said Sonar Technician 2nd Class Malcolm Smith.
The Romanian Navy is just beginning to operate helicopters from their ships and requested specialized damage control training in combating helicopter and flight deck fires.
“Their air wing is completely separate from the Navy so they had no prior helicopter firefighting experience,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Ryan Farley. “It was difficult breaking the language barrier, but they were eager to learn.”
In addition to at-sea training, the Romanian Navy’s Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, which trains all of their petty officers, hosted Cmdr. Derek M. Lavan, commanding officer of John L. Hall, Master Chief Petty Officer Dion Beauchamp, Command Master Chief, and several chief petty officers and sailors, for a question-and-answer period with their students followed by a tour of the school. The staff and students were very interested in how the United States Navy develops petty officers and chief petty officers.
“The visit was a great opportunity to increase our awareness of the Romanian Navy,” said Beauchamp. “We helped them to better understand the role of the chief petty officer and the command master chief in the United States Navy. The opportunity to meet and get to know the first Romanian Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy on a personal level was fantastic. There truly is no better way to spend a deployment then on a [Theater Security Cooperation] deployment. You don’t build a thousand-ship Navy any other way but through friendships.”
John L. Hall, homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.