Tuesday, May 31, 2016


My feet hit the deck before I fully realized a pipe was being made. It was 0243 by my watch. We found the chug spotted by the MPA a full 12 hours before. 

Over the course of the next four hours, our team performed as trained, safely and professionally. There were a few tired squabbles as peoples' patience wore thin momentarily -- vaguely sharpened voices over the crackling radio, exacerbated by a couple metal decks' worth of interference. There were also shipmates helping shipmates, people offering a hand wherever they could. Lots of teamwork, buckets full of patience and overwhelming tolerance as we all worked together to get a difficult job done before the ass-crack of dawn.

And by 0645, I was sitting down to a veggie scramble with cheese, bacon and an English muffin. Watch sections were back in place and the ship's routine went ahead, with no hint of the turbulence caused by the early morning evolutions. 

The hard work done, the dedication shown, the effort put forth by this crew humbles me on a daily basis. OPS has finally just gone to bed after about an hour's worth of sleep over the past 40 hours. Boat crew and LE team members didn't blink an eye when we piped a debrief at 1930 to talk about lessons learned from the morning's excitement; instead, they came chock full of good suggestions, ways to make us all better at what we're already damn good at. During his impromptu check in with me on the bridge just before lunch, brand newly reported SN DA asked me about qualification deadlines. Not asking for an extension -- just raising the issue because, since he reported aboard two weeks ago, he's gone from standing migrant watch, to using his language skills as an interpreter, to breaking in helm and look out on the bridge, and he hasn't been able to get to any of the DCWQS training offered each day -- so willing to do what needs to be done at the moment and yet still concerned about meeting his future obligations.

There are, undoubtedly, 82 other examples from each of the folks onboard this ship, of daily selfless acts, both large and small, offered freely from a deep commitment to the larger goal..and frequently, with enough humor to keep it all in perspective. And this is what gets us through long days and exhausting weeks.

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer

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