The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), successfully completed the Navy’s mandated Crew Certification Phases II and III, April 20.
Crew Certification is a weeklong process where inspectors from Afloat Training Group Western Pacific (ATGWP) ensure the ship is ready to safely go out to sea with a qualified and highly trained crew. The inspectors reviewed the ship’s current watch bills and watch team replacement plan for personnel qualification status, while placing the crew in simulated training environments to measure their skill to respond to realistic situations.
“Our ability to conduct operations in this region requires that we have a high level of proficiency and that starts with proper training,” said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “The crew’s constant preparation and commitment to training has gone a long way in our ability to complete our certifications and be prepared for sea.”
ATGWP evaluated emergency and non-emergency response drills consisting of general quarters, firefighting, medical emergencies, sea-and-anchor details, man overboard, abandon ship, boat operations and various combat system assessments.
“ATGWP brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from evaluating ships all across the waterfront,” said Lt. Cmdr. Emily Lapp, Ronald Reagan’s training officer.
During the certification, ATGWP verified all departments have the required administrative publications and policies in place, watch bills are manned with qualified and competent Sailors and watch standers and rapid response teams know how to handle any emergent situations that may arise.
“In case of an actual fire or general quarters situation, you want to be able to trust everyone around you,” said Hull Technician 2nd Class William Atherton, from Los Fresnos, Texas. “There is no fire department on the ship when we’re underway, so you can’t call for help. It’s going to come down to you and the Sailor next to you. We have to make sure we’re trained and qualified and our equipment is ready to work for us. If there is a casualty, I’m ready for it and my team will be ready for it.”
Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
MC2 Janweb B. Lagazo, USS Ronald Reagan