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GW Sailors Work on Warfare Quals

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050518-05
Release Date: 5/18/2005 9:27:00 AM

By Journalist 3rd Class Jennifer Crowell, USS George Washington Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS George Washington (GW) (CVN 73) Sailors are making the most of the ship's Docked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) in 2005 by participating in Enlisted Surface and Air Warfare programs.

CMDCM(AW/SW/SCW) Scott Benning, GW’s command master chief, said Sailors benefit on many levels from earning their warfare pins.

“The program is for your professional and personal growth,” he said. “It is an opportunity to learn about the ship we serve on and about the jobs Sailors do on board every day.”

According to Benning, in order for Sailors to develop a strong sense of leadership, they need to have an understanding of how the ship works, inside and out.

“It says a lot for leadership if you have an understanding of the overall organization and not just your piece of the pie,” he said. “When you understand the overall organization, you can be a stronger player in supporting everyone else.”

Benning said that although the warfare program is required for Sailors E-5 and above, GW highly encourages E-4s and below hoping to make themselves stand out among their peers to participate in the program.

“The sooner you get your pin, the better it shows your motivation and desire to learn about your ship,” he explained. “All of those things are taken into consideration during Sailor of the Quarter boards and command advancement program (CAP) boards. The more qualifications you have, the better prepared you are for the boards.”

Various sections of the PQS (personnel qualification standards) were videotaped on deployment to ensure the program would continue through the DPIA.

“Anything that required observation was videotaped and put on DVD,” Benning explained, adding that the process might make it easier for Sailors to understand the material being presented. “Instead of standing in the hangar bay watching an underway replenishment detail (UNREP), Sailors can watch it on television with an instructor explaining the process to them.”

Classes are also available to GW Sailors off the ship in nearby barracks classrooms.

Having recently achieved his ESWS (enlisted surface warfare specialist) qualification thanks to GW’s in-port warfare qualification program, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) 1st Class (AW/SW) William Tomb recommends Sailors get their pins for a sense of accomplishment and because of the accessibility of the program.

“When you meet a goal like achieving one of your warfare pins, it makes you feel good about yourself and motivates you to achieve other goals,” Tomb said. “So many Sailors are getting their warfare pins while GW is in the yards, because there are so many tools offered by the command to help make it happen.”

At the end of the 2004 deployment, around 2,400 Sailors walked off GW’s brow with at least one pin. Benning hopes to add another 2,400 pins to that total by the end of the DPIA.

“With GW in the yards for most of the year and a lot of new sea warriors checking on board, we’re working hard to get every GW Sailor warfare qualified,” he said.

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