By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Derek Paumen
ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander of Submarine Forces Atlantic visited Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), May 21.
During their stay, Gortney and Connor took a tour of the ship, including the combat information center (CIC), bridge, central control station, chief's mess and mess decks, greeting Sailors in each space. While in CIC, Gortney and Connor observed operations and took to the 1MC to thank the Sailor's for their hard work during Submarine Commander's Course-40 (SCC-40), a three-day exercise that simulates anti-submarine warfare for Jason Dunham.
"They greatly appreciate all of the Sailors, not only here but also on all of the other vessels involved," said Cmdr. Michael W. Meredith, commanding officer of Jason Dunham. "It's tough. This is a great extra event because of the training we receive, but again it's more time away from home. I know they appreciate that because they have served a long time themselves."
"This is the most realistic submarine versus surface training in the world," said Connor. "The training absolutely makes a difference in succeeding or failing. If we were to go to war next week, the torpedoes we'd shoot would look and feel just like the ones we use in this exercise. We are training like we fight."
Gortney and Connor finished their visit by reenlisting Quartermaster 3rd Class Kayla Franklin, handing out their coins and taking group pictures before embarking onto a small boat to go to their next visit.
"Any day I can come see the American Sailor at work is a great day, that's why I am out here," said Gortney.