By Ensign Tommy Changaris, USS Gettysburg Public Affairs
ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- A team of Navy-trained marine biologists embarked aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) Aug 18-22.
The team of marine biologists trained Gettysburg's Sailors and assessed their ability to spot sensitive marine life in the ocean. The team stood underway watches on the bridge wings with binoculars and radios searching for and documenting marine mammals.
"Our effort here is designed to ensure the crew is well-trained and is a role model for Navy stewardship of the ocean" said Jen James, marine biologist. "Our presence and training will only strengthen the training and awareness of the crew."
Navy marine biologists are required to assess the effectiveness of Navy lookouts in a global effort to ensure ships train and operate to their fullest capabilities while remaining in compliance with environmental regulations.
Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Davone Osbyward, was one of the lookouts who underwent training and observation and said the training he received inspired him to become a better steward of the environment.
"There is so much information out there about marine life and the easy steps we in the Navy can do to help protect it," said Osbyward. "It was a really eye-opening experience."
Despite their short time on board, the team was impressed by how quickly the crew rallied around them.
"The entire crew has been fully engaged and supportive of our presence from the beginning," said Andrew Dimatteo, marine biologist. "They really did everything they could to ensure our trip was a success."
Cmdr. Nathan Scherry, executive officer aboard USS Gettysburg, said the marine biologists were extremely excited to be onboard and perform their assigned task.
"This was such a positive experience for both parties involved" said Scherry. "We received valuable training emphasizing the importance of keeping our environment safe while still being able to fully conduct our mission at sea."