By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tatiana Avery
SOUTH CHINA SEA (Oct. 5, 2012) — The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) completed its final evaluation period (FEP) Oct. 5.
FEP is conducted annually on the ship over a period of 5 days to evaluate the nuclear-powered vessel’s ability to safely and efficiently operate in the 7th fleet area of operation.
“Every challenge was met and overcome by George Washington’s crew,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Gregor, carrier training officer, Commander Naval Air Forces Pacific. “Headquarters verifies that the ship’s outstanding score is the highest a carrier has achieved in the past 3 years.”
Thirty-six inspectors from the Afloat Training Group Western Pacific (ATGWP) guided the crew through several complex unit-level training exercises, placing emphasis on the ship’s war fighting and ship’s survival capabilities across all warfare areas.
By the end of the FEP cycle, George Washington scored an overall score of 426.52 out of 440 points, which concluded in an “outstanding” score of 96.9%
“The overall planning, training, leadership, and hard work are a direct reflection of [each departments] the air department’s successful execution during FEP,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) Rodeliza D. Santiago, an ATGWP inspector for the ship’s air department. “ATG assessors from Pacific, West Pacific, and Mid Pacific all agree that George Washington’s air department has performed the best drills ever seen in the fleet, setting the standard for training.”
Areas such as aviation, combat systems, damage control, seamanship, medical and navigation were all assessed in order to prove that the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and its training team could meet basic requirements and correct any discrepancies that were found.
“It took a lot of hard work and coordination to get to this point,” said Capt. G.J. Fenton, George Washington’s commanding officer. “We did well and I know there will be continuous improvement from the crew after this.”
With the completion of FEP, George Washington is officially certified as a mission-ready aircraft carrier.
George Washington is the flagship of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, the U.S. Navy’s only full-time forward-deployed carrier strike group operating out of Yokosuka, Japan and is currently conducting a routine Western Pacific patrol in support of security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.