Just when we thought we’d be making our return to the South on another counter narcotics patrol, the carpet was pulled from beneath and two weeks later we were steaming for the Bering Sea. Now that we are in theatre, most have been pleasantly surprised with the late fall in Alaska.
After a brief overnight in Kodiak earlier this month SHERMAN hurried to Dutch Harbor for another 3-day round of Fish School. Boarding officers, team members, and operations specialists learned about the laws and regulations we would be enforcing over the next two months in keeping a level playing field in America’s most prolific and dangerous fishery. In addition to enforcing fisheries laws SHERMAN provides a flight deck for an embarked HH-65 helicopter capable of responding to Search and Rescue (SAR) cases. The first day out of Dutch Harbor, SHERMAN responded to a SAR case, in which a vessel overturned, leaving three people in the water. All three were able to swim ashore but were stranded and freezing on the island of Unalaska. SHERMAN arrived on scene, launched its helicopter asset, and provided over flight for the rescue operation by a good samaritan. All three people made it safely back to their righted vessel. Inclement weather has been the theme of the deployment so far, both the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea have been roiling with intense storms moving eastward from the Western Pacific.
SHERMAN will look to make the most of the short patrol by maintaining a fast pace of operation and training. The new-look, energetic crew will look to gain experience and confidence after a large change out from the summer transfers. This is the first dispatch in a series of posts from crewmembers keeping you updated on the home front.
-ENS Pete Deneen