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Tarawa Sailors Excel in Warfare Qualifications

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060118-08
Release Date: 1/19/2006 1:00:00 AM

By Journalist 3rd Class Nathaniel Bates, Expeditionary Strike Group 1 Public Affairs

USS TARAWA, At Sea (NNS) -- Jan 14, the 471st Sailor aboard the USS Tarawa (LHA 1) earned the coveted enlisted warfare qualification since the ships departure from its homeport of San Diego six months ago for its current Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment.

During this deployment, Tarawa Sailors and their counterparts from embarked commands achieved 275 Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) qualifications and 196 Enlisted Surface Warfare Qualifications (ESWS) by demonstrating general knowledge in all aspects of surface or air warfare.

“That number is outstanding,” said Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) Raul Randle, Tarawa’s ESWS coordinator. “It shows that our Sailors are showing a lot of initiative and motivation to learn outside of their specific career fields.”

According to Randle, Tarawa Sailors averaged about two months of preparation and study before going in front of the ESWS and EAWS review boards. The board is comprised of senior first class petty officers and chiefs who administer a thorough oral examination in their respective fields of knowledge.

“Taking the board is real challenging,” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class (SW) Constance Gilbert. “But it’s going to look good on my eval, and it’s going to get me where I want to be. I would like to make the Navy a career, and this is one step toward that.”

According to Tarawa’s EAWS coordinator, Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Michael Schanche, the ship will exceed the 500-pin milestone by the end of her deployment.

“I think that number is incredible,” said Schanche. “The harder these Sailors work to learn about what the ship is about, the more we are able to get our job done.”

Tarawa is the flagship for Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1. ESG-1 is an adaptive, and agile force consisting of nearly 5,000 Sailors and Marines embarked aboard six ships and a submarine. Commanded by a flag officer, ESG-1 is a relevant tool for today’s threat environment, and can conduct operations across the operational spectrum.

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