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Wasp Enjoys Productive Sea Trials Period

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110504-18

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Koons, USS Wasp (LHD 1) Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- As USS Wasp (LHD 1) pulled into Naval Station Norfolk, Va., May 2, following a five-day sea trials period, some of its Sailors described their return to sea following eight months in port as a time to get back to basics.

"We had a great underway. It was a very productive period of completing contracted sea trials, maintenance requirements, and checks," said Capt. Brenda Holdener, Wasp's commanding officer. "After eight months of not being at sea, we knocked the rust off. Overall, I was impressed with the crew of Wasp in executing this evolution."

For those in Wasp's engineering department, the sea trials period was a time to put the ship's emergency systems to the test, a series of drills which turned out to be successful.

"We tested the counter-measure washdown, conducted AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) 'shoots' throughout the ship, tested every berthing sprinkler, activated the main drainage system, conducted fresh water hose drills, and did many other things to ensure we are able to save lives if we have to," said Damage Controlman Fireman Kyle Trubey. "Right now, all of these systems are in better shape than they were when Wasp entered its yard period."

While engineering was busy testing the ship's emergency systems, Wasp's food services division (S2) was busy playing its main role of providing nourishment to the crew.

"We lifted morale by providing a special meal of crab legs and T-bone steak," said Chief Warrant Officer Benny Brockington, S2 division officer. "The crew greatly appreciated it. We also got re-acquainted with serving meals underway after three months of mostly serving them on the barge at BAE Shipyard. Now, we're ready for more underway periods."

During the sea trials, Wasp's Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV) team also continued the work it has been doing over the past eight months in port.

"We got our work center cleaned out, and spray painted an AIMD (Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department) space during the week," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Peter Laperriere.

According to Laperriere, seeing Wasp get underway for sea trials was the culmination of all the work he and the CMAV team have done since Wasp last pulled back into home port in August.

"Our spray paint team alone got more than 40 spaces refurbished, and we got a lot of lagging jobs completed," he said. "All of our work provided Wasp with much needed repairs."

For Wasp's medical department, the sea trials period offered the chance to make sure their life saving equipment was operating correctly.

"We re-inventoried all of our battle dressing stations and did a lot of maintenance and cleaning," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (FMF/AW/SW) Lloyd Smith.

According to Smith and his fellow medical department Sailors, sea trials was just a warm up for when Wasp's tempo kicks back up to its usual busy pace at sea.

"Right now, we are ready to do anything we are tasked with," he said.

While in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Wasp continues on its path of readiness and training as it prepares for the next major Basic Phase training milestone, air certification, during another sea trials evolution in the coming weeks.

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