- USS Tortuga (LSD 46) completed the Unit Level Training Assessment, Engineering (ULTRA E), August 10, in Sasebo, Japan.
ULTRA E ensures that a ship’s engineering department is working properly and that the crew knows how to handle any problem that may arise.
“We show our knowledge and that we can follow step by step procedure and that we know our equipment in accordance with tech manuals,” said Engineman 3rd Class Davetta Gholson. “Once we complete so many of those (drills) we were able to move on to actually showing that we can get the ship underway safely.”
“Through the course of a ship’s training cycle you have to be assessed in every different warfare area in which the ship is required to be proficient. That includes engineering, damage control, seamanship, amphibious warfare, air operations electronic warfare and surface warfare,” said Cmdr. John Barnett, commanding officer of Tortuga. “The engineering assessment was the major inspection that we’ve been trying to accomplish for the last 18 months.”
Because of various missions and deployments, this inspection was delayed until recently.
“Inspectors have been coming in throughout the year,” said Gholson. “But the last three weeks was the real countdown.”
To receive the certification, inspectors come onboard and ensure that all of the engineering equipment works properly and meets certain specifications. The crew then completes several drills including fire drills and fuel leaks, said Barnett.
“Our engineers were able to persevere and press through every obstacle that was thrown in their way,” said Barnett. “I couldn’t be more proud of these engineers.”
Gholson said that she was relieved after they successfully completed ULTRA E. “It was a lot of effort and it paid off. It was tough.”
“Our motto is ‘Tough, Tall and Tenacious’ and the crew just absolutely embodied the tough and tenacious part,” said Barnett. “They steam rolled every obstacle and made it happen. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”