PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The Afloat Training Group (ATG) tested the crew of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on their knowledge and application of mission essential skills during a condensed Crew Certification Process (Crew Cert) Phase III July 11-12.
The certification ensured the ship and its crew were fully prepared to close out the planned incremental availability (PIA) cycle at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in Portsmouth, Virginia. During Crew Cert III, evaluators spent two days gauging the crew's ability to protect the ship and each other from any casualty that may occur during underway operations, emphasizing emergency drills. This is an essential process upon the completion of a repair period greater than nine months to ensure the ship is ready to proceed to the next phase of training safely with a qualified crew.
"We shifted our priorities from maintenance to training," said USS Harry S. Truman's Executive Officer, Capt. Cassidy Norman. "Team Truman completing Crew Cert III means we can safely combat ship casualties. We got the ship ready. Now we also have the crew ready to get this warship to sea."
The assessment team, consisting of Truman, Carrier Strike Group 8 (CSG-8), Naval Air Force Atlantic (AIRLANT) and the Afloat Training Group (ATG) personnel reviewed the crew's level of knowledge through several examinations, including: damage control, medical, watchstanding qualifications, navigation, and operations.
Truman's Assistant Training Officer, Lt. Paul Lyne, explained that weekly general quarters evolutions Truman completed moving into Crew Cert III were key because they highlighted areas of focus on an individual and ship-wide scale.
"Since the beginning of the PIA, we have taken a steady-stream approach to training in order to keep the crew up to the Truman standard," said Lyne. "Our crew certification phases looked at two major things: familiarity of equipment, its purpose and proper use and for our Sailors to understand we are not only preparing them to use this equipment, but we're preparing them to be proficient Sailors by providing learning opportunities in a controlled environment."
Controlled training environments provide Sailors the opportunity to learn at their own pace. Aiding in this process, damage control training team (DCTT) members instructed Sailors on proper damage control procedures throughout various scenarios.
"My repair locker worked on Charlie fire drills, pipe patching to fight flooding casualties, and loss of communication evolutions," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Kristen Sink, a DCTT member in repair locker Seven Bravo. "DCTT makes sure our Sailors have a safe [GQ] environment and that we have provided adequate training so our teams know what they're doing as they move through the evolutions. Our training helps build the muscle memory the crew will rely on in a real situation."
Cmdr. Richard Norvell highlighted that Crew Cert III is Truman's first step out of the maintenance period training cycle and into the basic phases of unit level training that includes exercises like Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA)/ Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) before working up to more integrated exercises like Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMTUEX).
"When ATG is aboard the ship we are Team Truman," said Norvell, director of Aviation Training Afloat Training Group, Norfolk. "We're here as a part of the crew to make sure we're getting better."
Truman is finalizing a Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard for maintenance and refurbishment of shipboard systems while preparing for future operations.
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