USS George H. W. Bush Intel Team Certifies for Deployment

Story Number: NNS101001-30Release Date: 10/1/2010 8:35:00 PM
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By Lt. j.g. Sergio Wooden, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) intelligence team completed its first of four intelligence team trainer (ITT) certifications at Naval Education and Training Command's (NETC) Navy and Marine Intelligence Training Center (NMITC) Sept 17.

The ITT is a milestone for the Bush as the carrier prepares for its maiden deployment. Certifications such as the ITT are designed to provide intelligence training in a realistic shipboard environment. All deploying carriers and their air wings are required to complete four ITTs before receiving final certification and approval to deploy.

During the ITT, Bush's intelligence team honed skills and learned how to operate as a team during the various training scenarios.

"Through the scenarios, the watch teams developed and refined critical skills and operating procedures that directly support tactical decision makers during inter-deployment training cycles and fleet readiness training plans," said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (SW) Nancy Grant, NMITC ITT facilitator.

NMITC instructors taught Bush's intel team in a team-training laboratory using group-paced applications. The instructors guided the watch teams during practical applications to facilitate maximum acquisition of knowledge, critical skills and intelligence center operating procedures. This included identifying priority intelligence requirements and contacts of interest, maintaining a tactical intelligence plot as part of an operation, and providing actionable intelligence to carrier strike group and amphibious ready group commanders.

Watch teams employed shipboard intelligence systems to receive, process, and disseminate intelligence data to support tactical operations in projected operational areas.

"The ITT staff receives feedback via end-of-course critiques and end-of-training round tables," said Cryptological Technician Technical 1st Class (SW/AW) Jeffrey P. Andrasak, NMITC ITT facilitator and team cryptologic lead. "That feedback is then incorporated into the ITT scenarios aiding in more realistic scenarios and training environments."

The ITT is the first of many steps USS George H. W. Bush and its intelligence team will have to undergo prior to deployment.

"The certification provided the intelligence team an opportunity to grow, develop and learn in a controlled environment," said Lt. William Blanks, NMITC ITT department head. "The lessons learned from the scenario-based instruction are skill sets that Bush's intel team will use throughout its carrier and air wing training and certification period."

"This was a great opportunity for us to see how far we've come as a team," said Cmdr. Tina Simington, USS George H. W. Bush senior intelligence officer. "This group of intelligence professionals has had to help build this ship from the deck plates up, and it has been a great opportunity to see how much we've developed, but also how much further we must go with our training."

Because the ship's intelligence team is fairly new, Simington said he sees the ITT as necessary training to help them acclimate to shipboard operations.

"We only have one intelligence specialist with previous carrier experience, so we had to be creative in our preparation for the ITT," added Simington. "We developed our own scenarios and took advantage of every available training opportunity to prepare for these exercises."

Cmdr. Tracy Vincent, Carrier Strike Group Two assistant chief of staff for intelligence, said the training was pivotal to establishing a good working rapport with the air wing, ship's company and the staff.

"We are very confident and excited to show what we know and to show the rest of the fleet what to expect from its newest and greatest carrier," said Simington. "We were successful because of all the hard work put in by all of our Sailors."

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