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NORFOLK, Va. - Inspections upon inspections and assessors are around every corner, the crew feels the heat as the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) comes back to life. Despite having an inexperienced and undermanned crew, they are making tremendous progress and picking up wins along the way.
Inspections upon inspections and assessors around every corner, the crew feels the heat as Wasp comes back to life. Despite having an inexperienced and undermanned crew, they are making tremendous progress and picking up wins along the way.
Deck department recently passed its mobility seamanship (MOB-S) inspection. Inspectors evaluated some of the ship’s capabilities to include replenishment-at-sea (RAS) evolutions, sea and anchor details, abandon ship drills, the ability to tow and be towed and all the equipment related to those evolutions.
From the fo’c’sle to the stern gate, deck Sailors were well prepared after the many demanding days of training and hands on experience with the related equipment.
“I got lucky with the people we have here,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Anthony Pacitto. “They’re outstanding.”
Just aft of the fo’c’sle, the ship’s medical department has also been assessed on Fleet Support Operations Medical (FSOM) – scoring a 99%. The largest portion was preventative medicine, which covers sick call, surgical readiness, heat stress and every other aspect of the clinical and administrative sides of medical.
“The inspection generated a lot of stress,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Luis Garza. “The week before we were trying to maintain normal operations while also preparing for the inspection, so when SMO told us we killed it, it was a big relief especially to the program owners.”
While medical pulled off a win with FSOM, they still face another hurdle with readiness inspection just around the corner. This will be a full assessment of their programs to include CPR certification, a requirement for all electrical rates to ensure their safety while undergoing their own inspections.
The CPR review should be a breeze as Engineering’s electrical division (E-Div.) has already safely corrected all of the electrical discrepancies in the main engineering spaces prior to and throughout the administration portion of Light Off Assessment (LOA).
“It actually worked out really well,” said Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Laura Carrasquila. “It ended up being pages and pages of hits in the beginning, but toward the end when we got into LOA, by days three, four and five, we had about five to ten hits a day. This is probably the smoothest and the best LOA I have ever experienced.”
While the engineering department drives forward with LOA, they still have a number of milestones to work through from Mobility Damage Control (MOB-D) and Mobility Engineering (MOB-E) inspections to repairing all of the associated lighting for the flight deck prior to the aviation certification.
Meanwhile, air department has been hard at work ensuring Sailors are trained and fully qualified before any of the aircraft returns. Not only are they teaching junior Sailors where to find correct procedures and conducting daily briefs, they are sending them to various commands to gain vital experience and bring that back.
“A lot of our Sailors haven’t always been part of a team environment,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class James PolkDinkins. “We are making better leaders and better men and women while showing them what a team looks like. It’s pushing them to go above and beyond for the mission.”
As the crew begins the new year with sea trials and operational testing, it’s hard to overlook the remarkable accomplishments that have been made when they take time to reflect. Being this close, Wasp still has much more to do before it is ready for operational tasking once more, but the crew is eager and ready to continue pushing forward.
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