USA: CVN 77 Departs Norfolk

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) departed its homeport of Norfolk to begin the Tailored Ship’s Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP) process, July 30.

TSTA/FEP prepares the ship and crew for full integration into a carrier strike group through a wide range of mission-critical operations, and is assessed by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Atlantic.

The TSTA portion assesses the crew’s ability to self-train, and is meant to improve their ability to fight the ship by increasing their medical and damage control knowledge. FEP tests the crew on their ability to handle combat missions while supporting flight operations, along with maintaining casualty control.

The crew keeps active practicing, studying, and training for the drill year-round, but this is the first time in 19 months that they will conduct drills with Carrier Strike Group TWO (CSG 2) onboard.

“It’s wonderful to have our whole team assembled,” said Commanding Officer Capt. Andrew J. Loiselle. “I know we’ll knock this evolution out of the park, just like we’ve been trained to do so.”

Afloat Training Group (ATG) Atlantic inspectors will assess the crew’s knowledge and capabilities through life saving, damage control, navigation and weapons drills. General Quarters (GQ) drills allow all of these subjects to be simultaneously graded through training scenarios, and simulated attacks to the ship.

“GQ drills are great because they not only give us time to educate Sailors on basic first aid, but also how to integrate that with damage control,” said Lt. Chantel Hurwitz, the ship’s nurse. “I’m confident in the crew’s capabilities, because I’ve seen that knowledge in action during our drills and during a few actual emergencies on the ship.”

The whole crew will participate in various drills throughout the ship’s underway until ATG Atlantic deems them proficient in every graded area. The next step in certifying George H.W. Bush for deployment will be a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPUTEX), which will test all warfare mission areas of the ship and CSG 2.


Press Release, August 4, 2013