>Handeling the big guns

>I’m ET2 Christina Leach, I’m a member of the Weapons Department on MUNRO. My normal job is to maintain the electronics of our weapons systems. We have the 76MM main gun and our Close In Weapon System, normally referred to as CIWS. It looks a lot like R2D2 from Star Wars, but in fact is an extremely complicated piece of equipment.

One of my other duties is to serve as a member of our Law Enforcement teams. On this patrol we have gotten to experience “fisheries law enforcement” in a whole new light, normally for us it involves Halibut, King Crab and Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea. This time we are serving as a deterrent to illegal High Seas Drift Net fishing. These nets can cover up to 15 miles of ocean and although they are targeting squid they indiscriminately catch many other marine mammals and fish. We have successfully stopped one vessel named the LU RONG YU. I participated in the initial boarding and then served as a member of the custody crew as we escorted it to the Sea of Japan to be turned over to a Chinese enforcement vessel. Spending as much as twelve hours a days standing guard over the crew on an extremely dirty vessel is not exactly a highlight, but it is just one of the many things we are trained to do in order to keep the oceans safe. I have the honor of being the only woman on our team and I guess I’m also the shortest.

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