Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam M. Bennett
AT SEA – The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) began a new division in the spotlight (DITS) program this summer in preparation for an upcoming board of inspection and survey (INSURV).
The program is designed to bring focus to each individual division and their specific needs for keeping Bonhomme Richard "ship-shape" in its new forward-deployed area of operation.
"The division in the spotlight program helps give the executive officer and myself a chance to see what actions need to be taken to prepare for INSURV," said Capt. Daniel Dusek, commanding officer. "It also helps us make sure all of the Sailors onboard are getting proper training and motivation."
The safety department aboard Bonhomme Richard is heading up DITS program to assist Sailors in getting their spaces and records ready for inspection.
"The DITS assessments give the ship a chance to make corrections on our own before being looked at by major inspection teams like INSURV or ATG," said Lt. John Scott, safety officer aboard Bonhomme Richard. "DITS helps provide a means and an incentive to maintain programs to a high standard year-round, so when the major inspections are due, the ship doesn't have to work nights and weekends to get the ship ready during the weeks leading up to those inspections."
The DITS program has been through a few divisions so far, but there are plenty of divisions left and the program itself is evolving.
"As we're bringing the DITS program online, we are stressing the fact that this is not intended to be adversarial," said Scott. "The goal is to identify discrepancies, document them, and then fix them, enhancing our mission readiness and making BHR a safer place to live and work."
The executive department was the first division through the program and the departmental leading Chief Petty Officer, Master Chief Personnel Specialist Clint Christiansen participates in the weekly debriefs for all divisions.
"The division in the spotlight is a great tool for looking at the small programs that often get overlooked due to daily tasking," said Christiansen. "It brings direct attention to a lot of training issues as well as the programs used to track whether or not the training is being accomplished."
Along with checking up with personnel and training, the division in the spotlight program looks at the material condition of spaces on the ship each division owns and operates out of. This insures the Sailors aboard have the proper equipment and safety procedures in place to accomplish their jobs effectively and with as little risk as possible.
"It will be interesting when the program resets," said Christiansen. "When divisions go through the program again in the next cycle we'll get to really see if the division in the spotlight accomplishes what it’s supposed to."
Bonhomme Richard, commanded by Capt. Daniel Dusek, is the lead ship of the only forward-deployed amphibious ready group.