The U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) took another step toward becoming a deployment-ready naval vessel, after returning to Norfolk upon completion of Tailored Ship’s Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP) Sept. 29.
“Ike Sailors have done it,” said Capt. Kyle Higgins, Ike’s commanding officer. “Through a mixture of patience, determination and perseverance, the Sailors of our mighty ship and the rest of the Ike Carrier Strike Group (CSG) completed our first Basic Phase work-up. We hold ourselves to the highest standard and push for perfection.”
TSTA/FEP is a training assessment that tests the ship’s ability to integrate with other assets within CSG 10, including the ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 and the aircraft attached to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3.
The evolution was graded by Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic (CNAL) and Afloat Training Group (ATG) Atlantic, who embarked aboard the aircraft carrier for its latest underway.
In addition to working through the ship’s ability to integrate with other assets, numerous drills and exercises were performed to test the crew and its own level of readiness. These included mass casualty evolutions, shipboard firefighting, simulated man overboard, and various flight operations scenarios.
Over 15 separate training teams assisted in ensuring that the ship’s crew was battle-tested and ready for the evaluators to come aboard.
“Every member of every training team fully embraced their training responsibilities, and the crew performed at the highest levels” said Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Drage, the ship’s training officer. “We have made tremendous progress in a fast-paced training cycle, and our readiness is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of our Sailors.”
To date, Ike has accomplished 98% of Basic Phase graded requirements. The Ike has also totaled 91 days at sea and conducted approximately 2,400 aircraft sorties.
The next step for IKE will be the Integrated Phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, followed by Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX), which will test all warfare mission areas of the ship and CSG-10.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marques Franklin