Destroyer USS Farragut assists in marine mammal behavior study
18 August 2022
ATLANTIC OCEAN – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) took part in a study conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) on possible behavioral responses of marine mammals to military sonar, Aug. 7, 2022. For the study, Farragut’s Combat Acoustics division and bridge team worked with a research team from USFFC to gauge marine mammal response to shipboard activity.
“We are always happy to support marine mammal conservation,” said Cmdr. Nicholas Gurley, commanding officer of Farragut. “This was a great opportunity for our sonar teams to practice operations while helping with an important scientific mission.”
The research teams were able to tag a total of eight Cuvier’s beaked whales, the deepest diving marine mammals on earth and some of the highest priority species to understand for Navy environmental compliance assessments. Careful coordination between the on-water research team following the tracked whales and Farragut was required to ensure that everything went smoothly.
“It’s always a pleasure working with the professionals onboard Farragut,” said Ron Filipowicz, CUSFFC Behavior Response Study Coordinator, who has set up two such studies with Farragut. “Because of Farragut’s efforts in helping the Navy understand animal reaction to sonar, we can better develop methods to protect them while still conducting our important training missions.”
This was the latest evolution in a series of close collaboration efforts between the Navy and research biologists to provide key data needed. The research team expressed their profound thanks for the professional and precise engagement of the Farragut and its crew.
“It was great training for our sonar technician teams, and a great opportunity for us to increase our understanding of the operating environment and to be good stewards of natural resources.” said Ensign Fernando Sommo, division officer of combat acoustics.
Farragut is a multi-mission surface platform, able to provide air defense, anti-submarine, and surface strike capability.
Farragut is operating as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group CSG. The George H.W. Bush CSG is an integrated combat weapons system that delivers superior combat capability and the ability to deter and, if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security and maritime safety.