Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Omar Paniagua stands small craft action watch aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70).
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PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 12, 2009) Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Omar Paniagua stands small craft action watch aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) as the ship departs Navy Station Pearl Harbor to participate in the MIDPAC Surface Combatant Group Sail. The group sail supports the Pacific Fleet's new MIDPAC Surface Combatant Operational Employment program, which calls for nine of the 11 Hawaii-based surface combatants to focus on the western Pacific Ocean by conducting intermediate/ advanced training and regular deployments in the western Pacific Ocean. The mid-Pacific Surface Combatant Employment is designed to improve the U.S. Pacific Fleet's war-fighting readiness and operational effectiveness of the ships involved. The programs also furthers America's Maritime Strategy by Posturing credible power in the western Pacific Ocean to protect vital interests, assure our friends and allies and deter adversaries. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Wallace Ciccarelli Jr.) File# 090112-N-9698C-061