BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) began simulating an at sea environment Jan. 8 in preparation for their first underway since April 2009.
This underway, known as a fast cruise, ensures the ship's equipment is in good working condition and personnel are fully trained and efficient in their duties.
"Fast cruise is here to help the crew get used to going underway," said Electrician's Mate 1st Class Diomel Laforteza, leading petty officer of Engineering division. "It's also the time for us to check all our equipment and make sure it's up and running. Firefighting equipment, alarms, and even the 1MC all need to be in good working order."
Lt. Cmdr. David C. Grattan, the engineering training coordinator who helped plan the fast cruise, said it's all about being able to operate independently.
"We're taking small steps, and this is the first step out of dock training," he said. "Up until now, we could always call someone for help. Now we're going to be on our own, providing our own services."
The crew will perform several training evolutions including general quarters, flying squad and underway replenishment (UNREP) drills which prepare Lincoln for many scenarios that take place underway, while also ensuring all Sailors are able to effectively man their watches.
"We can't run some of these exercises in port," said Grattan. "We've only had personnel on the UNREP station once during the whole shipyard period. Fast cruise will help verify that we can accomplish our tasks proficiently by training personnel on those stations."
While fast cruise is important for training Sailors and testing their proficiency, it also prepares the crew in another way.
"It gets people back in the mood of living on the ship," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Shea Kingston of Deck department. "It's been a long time since the ship's been underway, people have to get used to it again."
Fast cruise will run approximately four days, with a pause in the middle to repair any discrepancies found during testing and training.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.