PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- The crew of the submarine tender USS Frank Cable's (AS 40) crew conducted a fast-cruise training exercise while in Portland, Ore., Dec. 18.
A fast cruise simulates being underway, and is designed to prepare the crew for being underway and get into an operational mindset.
Frank Cable pulled into Vigor Industrial Shipyard, Portland April 7, for a planned maintenance and repair period to preserve the hull and engineering areas of the ship.
"A focus change toward being underway is what our ship needs," said Command Master Chief Wade Tandberg. "Fast cruise helps us hold important damage control and safety training and find our battle rhythm."
Frank Cable's blended crew of Military Sealift Command civilian mariners and Sailors, simulated combating class-alfa fires, and abandon ship drills and learning how to don emergency-overboard suits were all-hands evolutions that tested the proficiency of the entire crew.
"Fast cruise is meant to identify training shortfalls, reintegrate as a blended team and prepare ourselves for an underway," said Cmdr. Tony Pecoraro, Frank Cable's executive officer. "Though we still have areas to improve, I'm pleased with our crew's enthusiasm and level of knowledge. Based on their enthusiasm and willingness to work together, I know we will keep improving."
Despite differences in each organization's standards, Frank Cable must integrate MSC and Navy-style damage control and general operations to respond quickly and effectively to shipboard casualties.
"Having young, capable crews is one of the Navy's greatest strengths," said Tandberg. "Most of our Sailors are young, but that also means this crew is full of energy and hungry to learn."
The entire crew has spent the last eight months focusing on Frank Cable's maintenance and watch-standing needs, but as repairs at Vigor Industrial wrap-up, the mission changes seaward.
"I'm really excited how we were able to recover from the yard period with material conditions, repairs and ship cleanliness," said Pecoraro. "I can't wait to take over as lead maintenance activity and be able to showcase the ship's ability to conduct her mission of keeping 5th Fleet and 7th Fleet vessels ready for the fight."
Frank Cable is currently completing a dry-dock phase maintenance availability. The ship will get underway soon for sea trials, which constitutes the final determination of a ship's ability to re-join the fleet as an operational unit to conduct maintenance and support submarines and surface vessels deployed to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
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