Sunday, May 22, 2016

TSTA, Week 3 -- aka The Clean Sweep

We did it! Clean sweep at TSTA! Our last three drills on Monday went off
incredibly well, and by Monday afternoon at 1500, we were moored back up and
only had school house training and our Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) left.
BM3 JR was our MVP for Monday, displaying some mad Investigator techniques,
discovering damage and making sure existing damage didn't spread throughout
the ship. Our final drill score averages for each warfare area were: Command
and Control at 99.33%, Engineering at 100%!!!!, Damage Control at 95.37%,
and Seamanship at 97.56%. All Onboard Training Teams were certified
effective. 

Mike drop.

On Tuesday we sent about eight people to Rescue Swimmer school to play in
the pool for most of the morning, while the rest of us enjoyed either a
relatively easy day of duty or a day of liberty. SN RS was Tuesday's MVP; he
was already qualified as a Rescue Swimmer, having finished his PQS during
the inport and did a great job helping the other members get through their
training.

Wednesday was a workday for the crew, and we sent about 25 people to Basic
Fire Fighting school. They had some class room time, and then donned fire
protective garments (FPGs) and went into the fire house to practice hose
handling techniques. FN NB was Wednesday's MVP for his enthusiasm with the
training.

Thursday dawned clear and warm. The ITT brief started at 0645 and we set the
Fast Cruise environment at 0730 for our FEP. The FEP requires integration of
as many training teams as possible, loss of critical leadership positions
and damage in numerous spaces -- so we had to come up with a pretty
catastrophic event. Our scenario was pretty far-fetched...something about a
minefield laid across the Florida Straits so the drug trafficking
organizations (DTOs) could have a direct route for shipping their product to
the US. DILIGENCE lost steering (as best we could simulate tied to the pier)
and drove into the mine field. We took two mine hits, lots of damage and our
Damage Control Assistant (DCA, who directs damage control efforts in a
General Quarters scenario), Repair Locker Leader, and On Scene Leader all
were injured and not able to perform their duties. CO was standing on the
bridge wing looking over the side of the ship at the second mine strike and
fell overboard. All simulated, of course. 

It was a good drill. Even though it was pretty chaotic, we had fun with it.
The crew was enthusiastic and energetic. The training teams were engaged and
made sure events happened in the right order. Out of the 10 drill cards we
had to grade, I think we passed nine of them. Not that it really had any
bearing on our overall TSTA score -- we already had that in the bag!

Thursday's MVP was SN BS from the group that went to the Wet Trainer to
practice combating flooding damage. While everyone on the crew did a great
job with the FEP, all the folks that really stood out had already earned
their MVP t-shirt. 

We also recognized an overall MVP for TSTA which was DC2 AC for his
sustained energy and positivity throughout CART preps and TSTA. Our overall
Training Team member was LCDR TD, our EO. He took great personal pride in
getting DCTT through CART and TSTA, everyone agreed he earned it 100 times
over.

Despite all the success with TSTA, Thursday was a sad(ish) day. We had a
bunch of people leave to start their transfers to their next duty station.
I'm always excited to see people head off to their next assignment, but sad
to see them go because I *like* our crew. Thursday afternoon was a flurry of
logistics -- Quarters with award presentations, van runs to the airport,
vehicle swaps and loading of our GV to head back to Wilmington. We also had
a bunch of people show up the last two days of TSTA, both TAD and permanent
party folks.

And when we sailed out of the harbor enroute our patrol area, we had a brand
new, clean broom flying proudly from the starboard yardarm. Clean sweep,
indeed!

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer
USCGC DILIGENCE (WMEC 616)
Quarterdeck: 910-815-4528
Cell: 910-367-3328

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