Sunday, 13 February 2011

Small Boats

Hello again.  Continuing with our NATO exercise.  With great weather, we had the opportunity to put our small boats in the water a couple different times.  One time was to practice our Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) procedures.  We have a group of our Sailors who are highly trained in MIO, ready to board merchant ships to conduct inspections in support of UN sanctions, to provide assistance to the crew of the vessel, or to help deter modern day pirates.  This team got some good training, boarding an Italian Navy auxiliary to practice their skills.  Enjoy the pictures below, thanks for your support. 

                                           Boat Crew Stands Ready
                                             Manning the crew served weapons
                                           Watching for Problems
                                            MIO team ready to go
                                           Preboarding Excitement
                                          They even let me drive the small boat sometimes...

Friday, 11 February 2011

NATO Exercise

Hello again - sorry it has been so long since my last post, we have been busy.  After a brief port visit to Palermo, Sicily, we got underway for a combined exercise with other NATO units.  The exercise includes ships, submarines and aircraft from about 10 different countries.  Below is a picture of some of the ships involved, note Mt Etna in the background.  One note - we are experiencing some computer issues, so if your Sailor has not been emailing like normal, please stay with us as we resolve our technical issues.  Thanks for your support. 

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Haifa, Israel

We left Haifa, Israel a couple days ago after a few days to relax, see the country and enjoy some time inport.  Haifa is a wonderful city and Israel is full of history- literally everywhere you look.  The crew enjoyed tours to the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem.  About 50 people went on each tour.  Those who did not take the tour explored Haifa and the fine dining and culture Israel’s third largest city had to offer.  Some stayed close to the ship and enjoyed BBQ on the pier sponsored by the Chief’s Mess.  We are back at sea now, I’ll post again in a couple days with some of our underway activities.  Enjoy the pictures below, thanks for your support.    

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Deployment 2011

Hello STOUT family, friends and fans.  After a brief lapse, we are starting up the blog again.  This will be the forum I use to communicate with everyone and keep you up date on what we have been doing.  So far deployment has been going great.  We made it across the Atlantic, following one storm and just ahead of another.  After change of command and a port visit in Souda Bay on the island of Crete, we headed to Haifa, IS for a few days and some exercises with the Israeli Navy and Air Force.  Since then, we have been on station in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.  In between the operations, exercises and drills, we found some time to have some fun.  We held STOUT Olympics, where each department formed teams and competed in push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and a 10 mile treadmill relay.  All teams did exceptionally well and the competition was fierce, but in the end, Operations department came out on top.  The trophy ceremony was held during a flight deck BBQ.  We plan to do this a couple more times before we return to see if we can crown a new champion.  We also started "crazy hat Wednesdays" where Sailors can wear whatever hat they like.  Enjoy the pictures, thanks for your support.  -- CDR Nathan Borchers, Commanding Officer   

XO holds the trophy while I announce the STOUT Olympics winner.

Crazy Hat Day!!!
Preps before flight deck Firefighting drill
Weapons Department competes in the push up competition