Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew P. Holmes
BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) completed the Command Assessment for Readiness and Training (CART) phase II inspection Feb. 12.
CART II evaluates Stennis’ ability to respond to a casualty by concentrating on drills and exercises.
“Drills are the demonstrative piece for training,” said Lt. Cmdr. Shane Beavers, Stennis’ training officer. “[CART] shows how well we can organize and train the crew. We have to demonstrate that we can enter a combat situation and respond as a cohesive unit.”
The CART team executed scenarios to test Stennis’ preparedness. The drills started in condition three, the normal underway watch, and escalated to flying squad drills, formerly condition two, which are designed to combat smaller scale casualties. The four-day inspection culminated with condition one, also known as General Quarters.
“The scenario starts hours before General Quarters,” said Beavers. “A lot of condition three drills deal with combat operations and intel. They handle most of the issues that may occur up until the ship is manned for general quarters.”
General quarters is called to combat major casualties on the ship, including fire, flooding, or hull damage.
Stennis Sailors trained for more than a year for CART II, according to Chief Petty Officer Barry Nowell, locker chief for damage control locker one bravo.
“We prepared for this for quite some time,” said Nowell. “Everybody knew what was expected of them. It didn’t take very long for us to step up and get the job done.”
While it is an inspection, CART II is not pass or fail, according to Beavers. It shows a ship’s capability to support continued preparation for deployment.
“The ship did well, and the assessment done during CART II showed that we have been and are on the right track to become fully certified to conduct major combat operations,” said Beavers.
With the completion of CART II, Stennis will continue on to the next stage of qualifications. This will include the Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Period, scheduled to take place over the next several months.