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Nimitz Successfully Completes Compressed IDTC Basic Phase

PACIFIC OCEAN (Dec. 3, 2016) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, from the Black Knights of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is currently underway conducting Tailored Ship's Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP), which evaluates the crew on their performance during training drills and real-world scenarios. Once Nimitz completes TSTA/FEP they will begin Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) and Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for an upcoming 2017 deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman David Claypool/Released)

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Sailors successfully completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP) Dec. 8, completing the ship’s 180-day Inter-deployment Training Cycle Basic Phase in only 54 days.

TSTA/FEP was completed in a total of 30 in port and underway days, a major step toward Nimitz becoming certified for its upcoming 2017 deployment.

According to Cmdr. Wilbert Wafford, Afloat Training Group (ATG) Pacific training liaison officer, Nimitz completed basic phase with an overall score of 97%.

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TSTA is the final part of a ship’s Basic Phase Training Cycle, which includes Command Assessment of Readiness and Training (CART) II, and TSTA inport. It is the first step in proving a crew’s readiness for Composite Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) and other exercises that test a ship’s proficiency before deployment.

“It’s hard to tell this crew was in the yards for 21 months straight,” said Capt. John Ring, the commanding officer of Nimitz. “They are performing exceptionally, and I couldn’t be more proud of this ship and its crew.”

TSTA/FEP exercises most major warfare areas on board, including damage control, engineering, navigation, deck, combat systems, air, safety, intelligence, supply, operations and security. It also integrates the Air Wing in order to build proficiency on the flight deck.

To assess the crew, different Training Assessment Cards (TACs) are gone over by ATG inspectors with the crew to inspect their performance on pertinent tactical functions.

The TSTA/FEP drills are designed to test the crew, watchstanders and the integration of various entities throughout Nimitz. Successful completion proves to ATG that the ship is ready to move on to more intricate training in the ship’s work-up cycle.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 25, 2016) Sailors assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68) rig the ship's baracade during a drill on the ship's flight deck. Nimitz is currently underway preparing for an upcoming 2017 deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Siobhana R. McEwen/Released)

Nimitz Sailors rig the ship’s baracade during a drill on the ship’s flight deck. Photo by PO2 Siobhana R. McEwen

Although the different warfare areas were tested on their individual roles and most of the scenarios affected a small portion of the crew at a time, there were major evolutions such as man overboard, abandon ship and general quarter drills that tested every Sailor onboard as a whole.

After the completion of TSTA, Nimitz and her crew moved onto FEP, the final stage of the Basic Phase Training Cycle.

“FEP is the culmination of basic phase training and evaluates the ship’s ability to conduct combat missions, support functions and survive complex casualty control situations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Derek S. Waisanen, Nimitz’ training officer. “FEP provides ATG the opportunity to evaluate team Nimitz’ readiness, as well as its ability to sustain readiness through self-training.”

The crew of Nimitz has continually shown their ability to accomplish a condensed work-up cycle and look ahead to Board of Inspection and Survey and COMPTUEX in the up-coming months, where they will fully integrate with Carrier Strike Group 11, to include Destroyer Squadron 9.

“Successfully executing the basic phase program in 54 days was possible because of the crew’s motivation and training leading into the training cycle,” said Waisanen. “Training hour and the large number of drills performed in the yard provided a great base to launch our success in the future.”logosmall

Story by PO3 Chad Anderson

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