Archives for category: Evaluations

Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin Murphy

The Navy is implementing an Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) due to high retention and overmanning in certain rates.

The purpose of the ERB is to reduce overmanning in 31 ratings projected to be more than 103 percent manned in fiscal year 2012 and rebalance rates to increase advancement opportunities for high performing Sailors.

“We are attracting and retaining the highest quality force we’ve ever had and these Sailors are increasingly looking at the Navy as a great long-term career choice,” said Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson in an April 25 interview. “With this sustained high retention, systems designed to help maintain the balance in our force, particularly Perform-to Serve, have become over-burdened. As a result, re-enlistment and advancement opportunities for our high performing Sailors are being negatively impacted Fleet-wide.”

The Navy will examine the performance of roughly 16,000 Sailors and will release about 3,000 Sailors from overmanned rates such as Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel), Operation Specialist and Ship’s Servicemen.

Sailors in pay grades E4 through E8 with at least seven years of active service computed from their active duty service date and less than 15 years of service will be reviewed by ERB.

After May 16, 2011, individual Sailors will be able to view their own board profile sheets at the NavyAdvancementCenter page on Navy Knowledge Online.

“Sailors are responsible for ensuring the information contained in their record is correct,” said Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Jean-Hero Lamy. “If the information in the record is not up to date, Sailors can submit a letter with the latest information and added information about themselves.”

Factors which will determine non-retention include a Sailor’s declining performance, removal of security clearance when required by rating, and military or civilian convictions.

“The good thing is everybody in the overmanned ratings has an opportunity to convert to undermanned ratings by June 15,” said Lamy.

“I am thinking about converting to Navy Counselor,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 2nd Class (AW/ SW) Justin Delpalacio, who qualifies for the ERB.

“When I heard about the review board, it lit a light bulb over my head.”

The ERB for E4 and E5 convenes Aug. 22 and the ERB for E6 through E8 will meet Sept. 26.

Each board will be composed of a flag officer, officers and master chiefs. Senior chiefs and chiefs will serve as recorders.

“I want to re-enlist,” said Delpalacio. “The review board scares me. I am a little worried. There are people reviewing us who never worked with us. It could be an advantage for me or a disadvantage.”

In late fall, Stennis’ commanding officer Capt. Ronald Reis should be notified by NAVADMIN once the names of Sailors not selected for retention have been posted on BUPERS online (BOL).

For more information about the ERB, contact a departmental career counselor or refer to NAVADMIN 129/11.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathleen O’Keefe
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate

Stennis successfully completed its Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) assessment Thursday at NavalAirStationNorthIsland.

The successful completion of INSURV means Stennis is fit to conduct sustained combat operations. The six-day assessment began Feb. 27 and despite a busy underway schedule, Stennis performed better than fleet average in 11 of 18 functional areas.

“The crew has worked through a really trying year,” said INSURV Coordinator Cmdr. Stevin Johnson. “They have been able to work though PIA, sea trials, TSTA/FEP and CoNA while still preparing for INSURV. The cleanliness of the ship and the engagement of the crew have left a lasting impression on the inspectors.”

“This inspection was truly a joy to conduct and that is a reflection of the professionalism and enthusiasm displayed by the crew,” said Capt. Robert A. Bonner, INSURV Senior Inspector.

Inspectors graded Stennis’ weapons, radar, engineering, and navigation systems as well as living conditions and the ship’s maintenance program.

“INSURV preparation was a long and tedious process, but it was something that needed to be done so we did the best job we could,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Adam Hoffmann. “It was worth it to be able to show off how great our ship is and all the hard work we do to make it that way.”

Interior Communications Technician Chief (SW) Dain Wilmarth, who has participated in three separate INSURV periods during his naval career, said Stennis’ crew worked hard to pass the inspection.

“It was a huge amount of hard work and coordination for our team,” said Wilmarth. “Everyone accomplished what they needed to and it paid off.”

Aviation Ordanceman Chief (AW/SW) Tim Church said this was his first INSURV inspection and it was a very hectic experience.

“It seemed like all we did was clean, clean, clean,” said Church. “Sometimes it felt like déjà vu, but my people performed phenomenally. We would not have done so well without the efforts of everyone.”

“Everyone aboard Stennis played a huge role in our success,” said Johnson. “Thanks to the efforts of the entire crew we have proven to be a capable warship ready to perform for its nation.”

The CNAF INSURV team, led by Mr. Bryan Peters, assisted Stennis’ crew in several preparation periods prior to INSURV.

“We couldn’t have performed as well as we did without the cooperation of the INSURV team and the hard work of the entire crew,” said Capt. Joseph Kuzmick, Stennis’ commanding officer.

Peters and his team were declared honorary Stennis crew members by the commanding officer for their dedicated work but the completion of INSURV is more than just a success for the crew.

“It’s not just about John C. Stennis, this is much bigger, it’s about the whole process of taking care of taxpayers money. We are all taxpayers,” said Kuzmick.

Stennis’ successful completion of INSURV supports the Navy’s commitment to maintaining a combat-ready carrier capable of achieving America’s maritime strategy and protecting its interests at home and abroad.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathleen O’Keefe

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate

When XO’s daily countdown finally reached Day 0 on Sunday, Stennis kicked off the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), an assessment scheduled to finish Mar. 4.

Mandated by Congress in 1868, INSURV is a monumental material inspection that tests Stennis’ ability to carry on sustained combat operations.

Inspectors are grading Stennis’ weapons, radar, engineering, and navigation systems as well as living conditions and the ship’s maintenance program.

“INSURV is an important part of showing the government we are maintaining national assets,” said Cmdr. Stevin Johnson, Stennis’ INSURV Coordinator. “We want to ensure that million-dollar ships will be in service for years to come.”

Stennis recently completed a practice of events from start to finish, said Cmdr. Paul Keyes, the INSURV Central Coordinator.

“We learned a lot of great lessons that we are applying to improve our performance for the real thing,” said Keyes. “We are definitely prepared.”

Once the inspection is complete, Stennis will receive a grade of either “fit for sustained combat operations” or “not fit for sustained combat operations.” The results will then be reported to the Secretary of the Navy and Congress if the ship is fit for duty.

To prepare for the inspection, Stennis created tiger teams to find and fix damage control, habitability and electrical discrepancies. The teams will continue to correct discrepancies until INSURV is complete.

“The teams have played a major role in preparing for INSURV,” said Chief Damage Controlman (SW/ AW) Jim Head, the head supervisor of the damage control Tiger team. “They’ve worked with other departments to fix several hundred discrepancies throughout the ship. All of them have been working hard to get us ready for the inspection.”

Every department aboard Stennis has played an active role in prepping their spaces for INSURV.

“As challenging as the preparation can be, I believe INSURV is very important for all Sailors,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class (AW) Chris Somerville. “The inspection makes sure that we are doing the right maintenance on the equipment that could be helping someone or even saving their lives someday. Our main focus is making sure all of the equipment we are responsible for is in good working condition. Whether we were working on float coats, AFFF systems or the aircraft elevators, we made sure to do our part in representing Stennis during the inspection.”

Damage Control division was responsible for the maintenance and testing of the entire ship’s damage control equipment, with Sailors working long hours to achieve the task.

“I think we’re doing really well as a department,” said Damage Controlman 3rd Class (SW) Meagan Lofton. “We’ve been working so hard making sure we fixed all of our discrepancies and tested all our equipment. Everyone has been doing such a good job.”

Some aboard Stennis motivated others to go out and find problems on the ship. Lt. Michael Palmer, the Electrical Officer and self proclaimed “candy man”, offered a candy bar to anyone that alerted him after finding an electrical safety discrepancy.

“That little incentive was very successful,” said Palmer. “In a week and a half I gave away about 50 candy bars. It was really helpful in helping us locate hard to find problems.”

Palmer added that electrical safety information has also been sent out via email and on informational posters about electrical periodicity checks.

“Our goal isn’t just to pass INSURV, but to make our ship as safe as possible for Sailors,” said Palmer.

Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Kyle VanSickle said they have done more than 6,000 electrical safety checks since January. They also verified that all tool issue petty officers are qualified, all equipment is electrically safe and that work centers are in total compliance with shipboard instruction.

“I have complete and total confidence in Stennis’ electrical safety program,” said VanSickle. “I believe we are going to pass INSURV with flying colors.”

“We have started strong, but we still have a long way to go,” said Keyes. “We can’t let up.”

INSURV is part of the Navy’s commitment to maintaining a combat-ready carrier capable of achieving America’s maritime strategy and protecting its interests at home and abroad.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Chablis Torrence

After nearly a month-and-a half of constant assessment by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Pacific, both the Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and the Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) are complete.

The efforts of the crew resulted in Stennis receiving an overall grade of excellent. TSTA evaluates the mission readiness of each operational level of a carrier including operations, combat systems and damage control.

“The ship as a whole did really well,” said Lt. Cmdr. Francis Brown, Stennis’ Training Officer.

Stennis underwent three different training phases during TSTA.

“ATG explains the battle scenario required to complete the phase,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Tammy Lowrey, an Medical Training Team (MTT) member.

From equipment and personnel casualty management to survivability in a man overboard situation, each phase progressed in difficulty, she added.

Stretcher bearers and corpsmen are trained and tested on the eight GITMO wounds and treatments during the drills. Hospital corpsmen were given additional training to ensure that the knowledge passed to repair locker Sailors would be sufficient for an actual casualty.

Integrated Training Team (ITT) worked with different repair lockers and departments to ensure the training flowed appropriately.

“It took a lot of planning and coordinating with the departments beforehand to make sure that the casualties we prepared were good for the training situation,” said Lowrey.

Though many Stennis crewmembers faced this kind of training situation for the first time, Stennis passed every requirement.

“About a third of our crew is new,” said Capt. Michael Wettlaufer, Stennis’ Executive Officer.

“We’ve got a lot of new leadership, people that have moved up in rank and filled new positions; we have to train them on how to do those new tasks. We took all the smaller drills, manning the fire hoses, doing the pipe patching and gradually worked it up through TSTA,” said Wettlaufer. “It culminated into FEP.

”With Damage Control Training Team (DCTT) and the MTT playing a major role and averaging a score of 95.5%, it equaled a score of excellent.

“ATG told me that there was a remarkable improvement from the beginning as compared to the final FEP assessment,” Brown said.

TSTA is part of the Navy’s commitment to maintaining war fighting readiness and developing Sailors, essential elements of America’s maritime strategy.

TSTA, as a whole, helps build a solid foundation of unit-level operating proficiency for the crew and develops and enhances Stennis’ ability to self-train.

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