ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 6 is currently underway with the medical team aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1) in support of Exercise Bold Alligator 2012.
USS Wasp, like other large deck ships, often take on an extra medical component when getting underway for various operational and training events.
FST-6, based out of Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, is one of four mission-ready teams capable of same-day deployment with amphibious ready groups. The team, which joined Wasp Jan. 29, comes outfitted to provide medical and surgical capabilities for real-world contingency operations or training exercises like Bold Alligator.
"We are an asset to the ship, we provide extra medical services in X-ray, the laboratory, operating room, blood bank, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and various administrative duties," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW/FMF) Kenneth E. Gracie. "We're an overall asset to the medical department and we allow them to do more critical care."
From the moment they check on board, the FST integrates with the medical staff and stands ready to help with the daily medical routine and to prepare medical for a readiness assessment if needed.
The 15-member team, many with previous deployment experience, consists of an officer-in-charge, an administrative officer, a surgeon, an anesthesia nurse, two lab technicians, an X-ray technician, two general duty corpsmen, two surgical technicians, a respiratory technician, an operating room nurse, a doctor, an ICU nurse and a leading chief petty officer.
The team, which just came off an underway period with USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), will remain on board Wasp for the entire two-weeks of Bold Alligator helping with evaluations, screenings, training and drills.
"The crew has welcomed us with open arms making us feel like we're a true part of a team and we have gelled together as one cohesive unit," said Gracie. "We've learned a lot from each other using the skills we each have to make ourselves more aware around the Sailors and more aware around our fellow corpsmen from Wasp."
Join the conversation about Bold Alligator 2012 on social media using #BA12.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Wasp (LHD 1), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd1/.