ABOARD USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) medical department once again set the standard for Pacific Fleet medical readiness, as it was recently awarded the Medical Blue "M," signifying "best in force."
For six consecutive years, the "Gold Eagle" medical department has earned the highest scores for the annual review by Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet's (NAVAIRPAC) medical team.
Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Hohman, the aircraft carrier's senior medical officer, attributes this continued success to the quality of professionalism among the staff of the medical department.
"It is clear that the pride of the corpsmen is what carried this ship (to the top again)," Hohman said. "Their commitment to providing this ship with a level of medical readiness unparalleled by any other carrier is exactly how we were able to earn (this award). Commitment and pride of accomplishment - that's what it means."
The medical readiness inspection (MRI), part of the Blue "M" competition, is a comprehensive administrative and material inspection. This formal inspection, conducted by the force medical officer, is designed to determine whether the ship's medical department effectively carries out its assigned functions and tasks, has adequate resources (personnel, facilities, equipment and supplies) and complies with directives from higher authority.
Each Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier is inspected, preferably while the ship is at sea, in such areas as patient care, battle readiness, health promotion and preventive medicine.
When the inspection is complete, the carrier medical staff is given an overall medical readiness rating. According to the force medical officer, Capt. Dean Bailey, the overall readiness rating for Carl Vinson's inspection was 91.8 percent, which is the highest score achieved by any NAVAIRPAC carrier in the past 24 months.
"This is quite commendable, as this is not an easy task," Bailey said.
"Not an easy task" is an understatement for Carl Vinson, as their last year has been one of compressed maintenance and accelerated training. In fact, their abbreviated work-up cycle significantly shortened preparation time for the MRI, leaving the Vinson team just two weeks to prepare.
"The shortened prep time added a degree of expediency. To demonstrate battle readiness within 90 days of coming out of the yards is something all departments shared in, of course," said Hohman. "Medical stepped up to the plate like all departments, and we were fortunate and driven enough to hit a home run. Our department is full of really top-notch players, (experienced) Sailors, who really knew what needed to be done and wasted no time making it happen."
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70.