PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) completed its first overnight Fast Cruise Nov. 30.
Truman Sailors ran drills and conducted training to simulate getting underway.
"The closer we get to being underway, the more drills we will do," said Chief Boatswain's Mate Mark Bixby, Deck Department's 2nd Division leading chief petty officer. "The drills are important to flex the ship and the people, so we can fight the ship and the ship can fight the war."
Bixby explained fighting the ship as the Sailors' ability to keep it afloat and maintain equipment without outside help.
Throughout the day, Truman Sailors ran drills for each stage of setting sail, including sea and anchor detail, general quarters, and flight operations.
"The drills are great. We screw up, they stop us and tell us what to do," said Air Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Seaman Apprentice Darin Stenglein. "The next time we know what to and not to do."
On the bridge during fast cruise, the quartermasters and the operations specialists explained the bridge team's role during fast cruise.
"When we are underway, we stand four-hour watches on the bridge. When we're on watch, we study a chart. The chart shows where we are [in the water] to make sure we continue on the right path," said Quarter Master 3rd Class Shereka Dabney.
The operations specialists monitor what's around the ship and the ship's position using radar and navigation points, said Operations Specialist (SW) 2nd Class Johnathan Moore.
"They [Quartermasters] use visuals. We [Operation Specialists] take radar fixes with charts to help us navigate safely through the water," said Moore.
Moore said during the fast cruise they assumed their underway watches, and reviewed and updated the charts.
"Our job is a lot easier to do underway. You can't plot in port," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Pamela Thomas.
Another week-long fast cruise is scheduled in preparation for the ship and Sailors to depart for their 2007 deployment.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.