8 November 2009 - Greetings to all. In the past few weeks we have completed our inport maintenance period, successfully conducted a major ship wide inspection and transitioned to underway operations to support Second Fleet training.
Maintenance is a necessary part of our existence here on STOUT. Inport periods give us a chance to delve into more complex jobs such as pump repairs and equipment refurbishment. In the time since returning from deployment we have corrected several nagging problems and performed many jobs to keep the ship operating in top condition.
One of the other focus areas of the past few weeks has been preparing for an inspection we call ULTRA-S (Unit Level Training and Readiness Assessment - Sustainment). ULTRA-S is basically a shipwide verification of our ability to safely train and assess our own performance. During ULTRA-S the inspection team looked at our administrative programs, tested us in dmamge control drills on the flight deck, main engine rooms and throughout the ship, inspected the material condition of the engineering plant, observed as we conducted engineering drills and evolutions, verified each of our warfare areas by observing individual drills, tested our navigation skills as we got the ship underway at night time and conducted a night time anchorage, and finally observed the ship during an all encompassing drill at Battle Stations. Needless to say it was a fun few days.
At the conclusion of ULTRA-S we sent the inspectors back to shore using our small boat and headed out to sea for our current assignment. We are assigned as OPFOR (Opposition Force) in support of the NASSAU Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) and the EISENHOWER Carrier Strike Group (CSG). The ARG and CSG are preparing for deployment and needed a few ships to play bad guys. So we are now acting as a warship from the ficticious country Garnet.
As always the routine of the ship continues with preparing and serving food, cleaning, standing watches, conducting maintenance, getting flu shots, working on qualifications, etc. Since returing from deployment we have said good-bye to a few Sailors as they departed for follow-on assignments and welcomed some new crew members to our family. I would like to say farewell to the Sailors and their familys who have left us recently and say welcome to our new crew members amd families. You all had and will have an important impact on STOUT as we continue our mission. Have a STOUTSTANDING Day.