ABOARD USS RUSHMORE, At Sea – USS Rushmore (LSD 47) hosted 23 civilian guests June 11-13 for a day-long embark as part of the Leaders to Sea (LTS) program.
The program, conducted by Commander, Naval Surface Forces (CNSF) provides the means to embark leaders from various business, civic and educational organizations on board a ship, where they learn how the Navy operates on a daily basis.
Each day, Rushmore’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Calvin Slocumb, welcomed each new group of guests and explained to them the importance of the continuous training cycle, a critical piece of the Surface Warfare Enterprise (SWE) mission to provide "Warships Ready for Tasking" to the combatant commanders.
Participants were able to experience a variety of shipboard operations ranging from flight operations to getting underway and transiting the bay. They were also given tours of the ship each day and got to interact with Sailors in their natural environment at sea and gain perspectives on why individuals choose to join the Navy. Since 16 of the guests were educators, this was extremely helpful to them in their daily life.
“I hear people say, ‘Well, you should go in the Navy,’ and now I know why,” stated Gina West, Aviation Program Chair at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colo. “I’ve really learned a lot of information – real information – that I can pass on to my students.”
Derek Olson, a firefighter and the Fire Science Program Coordinator at Aims Community College, had the opportunity to experience an engineering space fire drill and had to say, “I love the tight-knit community. That’s absolutely essential to what you guys do. I’m going to take a lot out of what I learned here and give back to my program.”
The guests also enjoyed lunch in the wardroom each day and given the chance to engage Rushmore’s officers further in discussions regarding opportunities the Navy has provided them.
The San Diego, Calif. based ship is currently underway preparing for next week’s Unit Level Training Assessment, Engineering (ULTRA-E) certification, which validates the ship’s ability to self assess, train, and to perform required missions to a set standard.