SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS America's Deck Department wrapped up final preparations for its upcoming Mobility Seaman (MOB-S) certification, beginning March 7.
MOB-S is a general seamanship deck inspection of all deck equipment and a performance of anchoring and underway replenishment (UNREP) evolutions.
Over the past two months, Deck Department has been inventorying and testing the equipment used for these evolutions to include mooring lines, turn buckle wrenches, anchor chain jacks, emergency personnel transfer equipment, and a variety of hand tools.
"To prepare for MOB-S, there's a lot of maintenance into making sure all of our gear is capable of operating to its full ability," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Leslie Walker, first division leading petty officer. "It's important for us to break out gear and make sure everything is where it needs to be, so we know we have everything we need to operate the ship safely."
Preparing for the certification isn't only about laying out the gear; it's about knowing what it is and how to use it. The Sailors assigned to America's Deck Department have been rehearsing both anchoring and UNREP evolutions over the past few months.
"We've had a lot of challenges to overcome," said Walker. "A good portion of our spaces are being worked on by contractors because the ship is conducting a post-shakedown availability (PSA). Because of that, we have been forced to simulate many of the procedures we would normally perform during training."
With all of the hard work Deck Department completed, they are poised for a positive outcome.
"I feel very confident and prepared for this inspection," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Jeron Hancock. "Our chain of command has given us all the tools to prepare for it."
"We've been burning the midnight oil, on top of all the other work we have going on in preparation for this inspection," said Walker. "It's been a good process and hopefully the outcome is what we expect for all the hard work we put in."
America is currently undergoing a PSA in which the ship's crew and assigned contractors make improvements to the ship's design. America is scheduled to complete PSA at the end of March.
For more news from USS America (LHA 6), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lha6/.