Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA)
The first combined training event of the Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC) is known as the Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA).
The TSTA is conducted in two phases. The first phase consists of two weeks at the pier, conducting numerous damage control, communications, medical, and other drills. The next phase consists of two weeks of underway training. This underway period combines both flight operations for the Airwing and shipboard drills, including General Quarters, Damage Control, Man Overboard, and fire drills. Upon completion of the basic phase, a unit is expected to be proficient / (M2) in all mission areas.
During TSTA I - III, the focus is on developing the ship's self training capability through training teams. However, it should be recognized that all personnel have watch keeping duties to perform and, in many instances, perhaps the most critical instances, the senior, most experienced personnel who make up the training teams will be the personnel on watch manning Condition I/IA stations. These individuals also need to be trained and evaluated. The ISIC should provide opportunities within the TSTA periods, to evaluate the performance of these individuals in a watch keeping role. This will require early coordination with ATG because of the larger personnel requirements to conduct such training/evaluation without the support of the ship's training teams.
Warfare Specialty Training; i.e., salvage training, mine warfare training, amphibious warfare training and special operations training may be integrated into the TSTA I - III training or conducted as a separate evolution as determined by each type commander based on the particular training resources available.
During TSTA I, ATG will train the ship's training teams (ITT, CSTT, ETT, DCTT, ATT, MTT and STT), conduct deckplate training as necessary, and work on basic warfare skills.
Emphasis during this nominal eight day underway period is on navigation, seamanship, engineering, damage control and other training which does not require air services or is most efficiently accomplished with minimal flight operations. Flight deck operations consist of drills and limited air wing carrier qualifications. Combat Systems training is focused on areas where support from the air wing is not required. Engineering training should begin inport prior to TSTA I in order to maximize the effectiveness of underway training. If the ship's employment schedule does not permit completion of TSTA I prior to TSTA IV, a limited team trainer may be scheduled to conduct the damage control and navigation training normally held during TSTA I.
Emphasis during this nominal eight day underway period is on flight deck operations, increased emphasis on Combat Systems, C4I training, Engineering and Damage Control Condition I and III tactical and casualty control scenario execution, while maximizing use of air wing support. Ships should receive their NSSMS certification during TSTA II. Engineering training continues during non flying periods. By the end of TSTA II, each of the ship's training teams should be capable of planning, conducting, evaluating and critiquing exercises within its functional area. Scheduling TSTA II immediately following TSTA I serves to minimize the need for carrier qualifications before proceeding to cyclic operations.
TSTA II will refine skills and integrate watch teams into a single organization capable of coordinating their efforts for mission accomplishment. The primary thrust of TSTA II is for the ship's training teams to train the ship under the guidance of ATG personnel.
TSTA III is a nominal nine (9) day period with two purposes: (1) to train the crew on complex basic phase exercises, including the conduct of communications readiness certification (CRC) exercises, and (2) to embark the Afloat Training Group (ATG) for a Final Evaluation Period (FEP). TSTA III provides the Commanding officer and ATG trainers the opportunity to focus on building integrated training proficiency using the ship's Integrated Training Team (ITT).
This is a fleet replacement squadron carrier qualification (FRSCQ) TCQ period and/or engineering training period, with engineering training emphasized during non flying periods. TSTA IV has a nominal length of seven underway days and may be scheduled at any time in the basic phase following completion of flight deck certification and TSTA I. If ship's employment schedule requires TSTA IV before TSTA I, a limited team training period may be scheduled prior to TSTA IV to conduct the damage control and/or navigation portions of TSTA I. (See paragraph 3202.A.(1)). Normally, two TSTA IV periods are assigned per cycle.
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