Truman Sailors Engage In Demanding TSTA Drills

Story Number: NNS090421-08Release Date: 4/21/2009 12:46:00 PM
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By Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Troutman, Truman Public Affairs

USS Harry S. Truman (at sea) (NNS) -- The crew of USS Harry S. Truman has a new series of challenges to embrace during the ship's current underway period. The Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) is a mandatory evolution designed to focus on developing the ship's self-training capability through its integrated training teams.

Truman will spend three weeks at sea engaging in the TSTA evolution as it prepares for its upcoming 2009 deployment.

"Overall, TSTA is a measure of how well the crew integrates and fights the ship together," said Lt. Cmdr. Cheryl D'Andrea, Truman's Training Officer.

During the course of Truman's current underway, the ship's crew will conduct 14 General Quarters drills, said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Lyle, Truman's damage control assistant. An estimated 900 Sailors will man the ship's repair lockers, and the drills will be integrated with every training team having a role.

"General Quarters will be the big evolution that affects everybody," Lyle said. "It's an all-hands evolution, from the damage control petty officers signing yoke every day to the tactical actions officer countering inbound missiles."

Each department on board Truman will have their own training agendas out of the Carrier Training and Readiness Manual (CNAFINST 3500.20A).

Upon completing TSTA, the ship will be certified to move on to the next phase of training to ensure deployment readiness.

The Afloat Training Group (ATG), a team of 17 personnel, is aboard Truman this underway period to evaluate the training teams and, in turn, help them learn how to better train their repair locker personnel.

"ATG is here to train the trainers during a training evolution," D'Andrea said. "They're on board to help us, to train and to provide constructive criticism. They're also looking for our documentation to ensure we're documenting our training performance properly."

With a significant amount of Truman's Sailors new to both the ship and its at-sea training evolutions, D'Andrea stressed the importance of the ship's crew working as one team and maintaining a positive focus throughout the duration of the TSTA evolution.

"Basically, we're trying to get everyone into the mindset that we are in foreign waters, mimicking a real-life scenario where we are fighting the ship," she said. "If we don't have proper damage control, the ship won't stay afloat for any length of time, but when you have personnel who are motivated and participating, that's half the battle right there."

Master Chief Fire Controlman (SW/AW) Joseph O'Brien, Training Department's leading chief petty officer, said he's confident the ship's crew will know exactly what to do should an actual casualty situation arise.

"In the event a real-life scenario occurs, you'll see the training come together," O'Brien said. "We're being trained this way so in the reality of a casualty, we'll know exactly what we need to do. If we train like we fight, when an actual situation comes up, it will be like second nature to us."

O'Brien said that despite the long hours being put in at sea, there's a purpose to the arduous training environments Truman's Sailors will endure in the weeks ahead.

"The end result is, with this training, we will be better able to self-sustain any damage we incur during deployment, ensuring everybody comes back home safe," said O'Brien.

Coming home safely is, of course, the most important part of any underway period, and by putting forth all their effort in the upcoming TSTA evolutions, Truman Sailors can ensure their safety for future underways, as well.

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit

Sailors perform fire drills aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
February 23, 2009
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