The U.S. Navy Nimitz Class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) together with Carrier Strike Group 12, Destroyer Squadron 2, and Carrier Air Wing 7, completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) Final Evaluation Period (FEP), Aug. 6.
“The integrated part of our last general quarters with the aircraft squadrons and Destroyer Squadron 2, along with the strike group, showed the assessors that we can get anything knocked out,” said Master Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Juan Ramos. “There’s room for improvement, but knowing what we’ve already accomplished, to me the future is bright, and I am excited about where we are going.”
This is the first time since before Abraham Lincoln’s refueling and complex over haul that she has conducted an evolution of this magnitude and complexity, with strike group elements aboard to work together to combine advanced surface, air, system assets and a combined total of approximately 5,000 Sailors.
“We will continue to work on strengthening these relationships along with continuing to work on our own readiness,” said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Henderson, Abraham Lincoln’s training officer. “When it’s all said and done though, we have to be able to work as a team.”
Afloat Training Group (ATG) evaluated Abraham Lincoln on multiple areas including medical emergency responses, damage control environments, and every day watchstanding.
ATG perform TSTA assessments on carriers roughly once a year. TSTA for a carrier is their biggest evolution due to the amount of man power needed and the condensed schedule to complete the evaluation. Abraham Lincoln’s crew worked diligently with ATG during their time aboard to learn from past mistakes and push forward to be the best carrier possible.
“The issues that were identified in-port and the recommendations that were given by ATG were definitely taken on by the crew,” said Damage Controllman 1st Class Jordan Bailey, a member of ATG. “I could tell the recommendations and training were taken seriously. The improvement that I saw over the last two weeks was very impressive, and it goes to show the kind of crew the Lincoln has and the dedication they have to getting the mission done.”
When ATG evaluated Lincoln’s crew on how well they responded to casualties aboard, the crew were tested on mass casualty responses, stretcher bearer skills and flopper drills, where Sailors have to respond to medical casualties in their own work space.
“My medical training team members and I have been going around the ship to various departments and Sailors have been engaged in the flopper drills,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Sutherland, Abraham Lincoln’s nurse. “Departments have been very well engaged and very in tune with their training and that’s why this ship did as well as it did for TSTA/FEP.
ATG also evaluated Lincoln’s damage control teams to ensure the ships damage control readiness is where it needs to be. ATG evaluated drills consisted of general quarters, various classes of fires, flooding, toxic gas and an abandon ship drill.
“The team has really come together in a short amount of time, and I emphasize team because that’s what it takes to get through this,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Eric Stewart, Abraham Lincoln’s fire marshal. “During workups you are always going from one inspection to the other, and it’s going to be a natural desire to let off the gas pedal with damage control, but the problem is you can never do that. You never know what tomorrow has in store, so the ship has to be ready for the unknown. If we are ready, trained, and prepared, then we will react to it.”
While Lincoln Sailors await the final results of TSTA/FEP, they can rest assured knowing that their hard work and efforts have been recognized.
“The most rewarding piece in all of this is seeing the way the entire team came together to make this assignment a success,” said Henderson. “Success in this assessment was truly going to require the entire team and with the whole team doing its part, Lincoln was able to once again show off how amazing the team we have here is.”
During TSTA/FEP Sailors showed they can handle any situation thrown at them. TSTA/FEP is one of the final steps for Abraham Lincoln to be ready for her upcoming deployment. The ship is prepared to keep moving forward operationally and engage anything that comes its way.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler C. Priestley, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs