USS Essex Ropes In Warfighting Excellence

Story Number: NNS161101-19Release Date: 11/1/2016 1:44:00 PM
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By Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Gallagher, USS Essex (LHD 2) Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors aboard Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) participated in a Warfare Rodeo in the mess decks on board the ship, October 28.

More than 60 Sailors received hands-on training for Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS), Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) and Information Warfare Specialist (IWS). Training was given by qualified Chiefs and Petty Officers, paving the way for future war fighters.

The Navy Warfare programs are designed to give Sailors a working knowledge of the ship and its war-fighting elements. The qualification can take a while and requires intensive study. With Essex undergoing a Planned Maintenance Availability (PMA), there often isn't time to travel from department to department and learn all the necessary information required to qualify.

"I've dedicated my time to teach these skills because during a PMA, these kinds of programs can fall through the cracks," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordan Shamburg from operations department. "This is our chance to make sure that doesn't happen and to remain war ready - ready for the fight."

The rodeo was a way for some Sailors to complete a large portion of the ESWS personnel qualification standard book at once, keeping the ship up to speed with its mission and preparing it to perform after it returns to sea.

"During a PMA, it's not always easy to set up a training program," said Master Chief Matthew Danforth, Essex top enlisted master chief. "The warfare rodeos provide a condensed, one-stop shop for everyone to try and expedite their training as much as possible."

Essex has held warfare rodeos in the past and received praise for their ability to help in obtaining the qualifications needed for excellence.

"They make it a lot more expedient and user friendly than normal instead of trying to hunt everybody down," said Seaman Gary Smith, a warfare rodeo attendee. "I like that it keeps them all in one place and makes it easier to find everybody."

Essex is 50 percent of the way through the PMA and plans to begin sea trials in mid-2017. With a few more rodeos planned on the horizon, the ship will be more than ready to take the fight to the enemy.

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