>From the Weapons Officer

>28Jan10

Onboard the MUNRO, we are back to work and back to sea. In support of the D17 blog, I’ve volunteered a glimpse into the day of a Weapons Officer in the Bering Sea. So far the patrol has been pretty typical for the MUNRO. For me, the day started at 0245 in order to conduct a round of the ship, grab a cup of caffeine, and relive the OOD. It was a quiet watch spent mostly in transit, so the focus of the watch was more on training a new OOD. Ensign Van Delden has come along way since she first reported and it was great to see her demonstrate her knowledge of the ship. She is on track to qualify by the end of this patrol. After four hours of bridge watch, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and begun my day.
As the Weapons Department head, I’m responsible for forty boatswain’s mates, gunners mates, and deckies, along with their budgets and admin. I took care of administrative issues all morning while the ship looked for boats to board. We found two fishing vessels and boarded them both. Both vessels were in good condition and the crews were very receptive of us. It was amazing to see the large factory trawlers at sea. These massive ships catch, process, and package their catch while underway. It’s amazing to think about how these floating factories work while their entire work environment is exposed to the harsh Aleutian weather as the ship rolls back and forth.
Collectively, the boardings took the majority of the day so I’m fortunate that the cooks look after us and saved us dinner. After taking care of more no-so-exciting administrative work, I was able to grab a thirty minute nap before standing the mid-watch and finally getting some much needed rest around 0330. Overall, it was a typical day underway onboard MUNRO surrounded by hard working people and beautiful Alaskan scenery.

– LTJG Jim Cepa

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