USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) began command assessment of readiness and training (CART) II Aug. 26.
CART II is an assessment and opportunity to train both the aircraft carrier's training teams and watchstanders in all required primary warfare areas, and to maximize effectiveness of the crew in leveraging fleet operations and exercises in carrying out 7th Fleet mission.
"It's a baseline assessment of our training and our ability to respond to casualties," said Senior Chief Damage Controlman Gary Wise, from Clearwater, Fla., a senior member of George Washington's Damage Control Training Team (DCTT).
All George Washington Sailors play an instrumental role in maintaining the conditional readiness of the ship. Special groups such as the flying squad conduct drills and scenarios responding to fires, flooding and toxic gas leaks.
The rest of the crew has been preparing for CART II by training in repair lockers during general quarters drills; the training includes firefighting, shoring, pipe-patching, first aid and other tasks to respond to actual casualties.
According to Master Chief Engineman Mike Piazza, from Haskell, N.J., a senior Engineering Casualty Control Training Team (ECCTT) member, the CART II inspection also serves as a vital opportunity to re-train all Sailors in their "Zebra" setting skills, as well as provides training to new Sailors.
"The training can become repetitive after a while, but it's important for all of the Sailors and the flying squad to be familiar with handling any scenario; especially when there's an actual casualty because you never know what to expect," said Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Sarah Torp. "Sometimes it can be even worse than what you think."
As the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, George Washington conducts its CART II and final evaluation period (FEP) inspections annually as opposed to every 18 months.
"We have to always be ready to respond to any call or crisis in this area and we have to respond quickly," said Wise. "That's our mission and regardless of CART II or any other inspection, we are committed to not only being efficient but correct when it comes to training."
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
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