USS Ronald Reagan
(CVN 76) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 departed San Diego Nov. 27 to complete Tailored Ship's Training Assessment (TSTA), an intense training period designed to prepare the ship and embarked air wing for prompt and sustained combat operations at sea.
TSTA and the upcoming Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) are conducted by Afloat Training Group Pacific, and are designed to test a ship's ability to conduct multiple simultaneous combat missions and survive complex casualty situations under stressful conditions.
Rear Adm. Phil Wisecup, commander of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group, stressed to the officers and crew of Ronald Reagan and CVW 14 that the preparation for future strike group missions starts during TSTA/FEP.
"I don't know what we'll be called upon to do, but I can tell you that we'll face it together," added Wisecup. "We will be ready when the bell rings!"
A major part of TSTA and FEP will be testing the ship's damage control organization through a variety of events and general quarter drills scheduled during the underway period.
"Damage control readiness is an 'all hands' responsibility and is instilled in Ronald Reagan Sailors from the day they walk on board, said Senior Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) Brian Wilcox, Ronald Reagan's damage control division leading chief petty officer.
Scores achieved by the officers and crew during the FEP stage will apply to the annual "Battle E" award, given to the aircraft carrier deemed most ready for combat operations in the Pacific Fleet.
The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is scheduled to conduct the Composite Training Unit Exercise and a Joint Task Force Exercise early next year in preparation for a regularly scheduled deployment.