USS Rushmore sailors during the second installment of SBTT   

Official U.S. Navy file photo.
RUSHMORE Kicks It into High Gear to Prepare for ULTRA-C 
By RUSHMORE Public Affairs Officer  
SAN DIEGO, Ca. – During the second installment of Shipboard Training Team (SBTT), RUSHMORE’s 1MC blared, “man down, man down! Man down in compartment 05-42-2-L; Midshipman Choo. Sucking chest wound! Stretcher Bearers required!” Immediately there was a scurry outside of the Electrician’s Shop as stretcher bearers and the responding corpsman dashed into the space to aid the casualty assessed by San Diego’s Afloat Training Group (ATG).

ATG’s Medical Training Team assessor, HMC Gabriel Tellez(SW/FMF) stood in a nearby corner, watching ET2(SW) Christopher McVey and ET2(SW) Sean Monty working together diligently to attend to Midshipman 2/C Julia Choo’s simulated sucking chest wound.

“SBTT II is a good snapshot of the crew’s hard work in preparing for ULTRA-C. They’re certainly on their way to a successful certification and deployment.” HMC Tellez continued. “ATG is here to train and assess warfare areas on the ship as well as the crew. We want to help them become proficient in their respective warfare areas, and we are here to assist and train in as many ways possible.”

After this drill, HMC Tellez discussed the actions taken during the drill and congratulated them on a job well done. “You did all well,” he commented. “You responded quickly and worked with each other to go through the proper and correct steps.” A discussion followed with the stretcher bearers and Sailors in the space, and HMC Tellez answered questions and provided advice.

“After completing a year-long maintenance period, there is a lot of relearning to do.” commented ET2(SW) McVey. “Getting back to the standard is not done overnight, but we are making real improvements with these drills.”

This week-long training event held by ATG is intended to continue training and assessing the Sailors of RUSHMORE as well as their training teams in various warfare areas. Each day was packed with administration reviews and drills. Several warfare areas were reviewed, including medical, damage control, navigation, force protection, engineering, VBSS (Visit Board, Search, and Seizure), and combat systems.

“After completing a year-long maintenance period, there is a lot of relearning to do. Some standards and procedures are no longer in use, for example not using ID cards for sucking chest wounds.” commented qualified stretcher bearer, ET2(SW) McVey. “One thing we are doing is unlearning outdated information to the new current version so we may correctly respond to every casualty. Getting back to the standard is not done overnight, but we are making real improvements with these drills.”

RUSHMORE’s Training Officer, LTJG Judy Breaux has been spearheading the entire evolution. “SBTT is a great opportunity for training teams from ATG to come aboard to train our training teams so we may have a more successful ULTRA-C and ultimately, respond safer to casualties.”

USS Rushmore is the 7th of 12 ships in the Whidbey Island Class. The ship’s mission is to embark Marines with their combat equipment and vehicles, then remain at sea as an on-call force to conduct a diverse range of amphibious operations.

For more information on the USS Rushmore, please visit their website, http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lsd47/Pages/default.aspx , or fan them on Facebook by searching “USS RUSHMORE LSD 47”.
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