Ships assigned to the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (ESG) and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group
(JCSSG) successfully completed Unit Level Training and Readiness Assessment-Sustainment (ULTRA-S) April 9-14 during their deployments to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
ULTRA-S is an assessment of the ship’s training proficiency level in warfare areas such as engineering, damage control, combat systems, medical, aviation, and maintenance and material management. The ships participating in ULTRA-S were USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Antietam (CG 54),USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS O’Kane (DDG 77).
Instituted as part of the Fleet Response Plan, ULTRA-S is an assessment performed by the Afloat Training Groups (ATG) six months after a ship completes its final evaluation problem (FEP). During this evaluation, ATG evaluates how well the ship is keeping track of their training and readiness using the Training and Operational Readiness Service database and Training Figure of Merit software application.
“ULTRA-S afforded us the opportunity to have an outside set of eyes evaluate our training effectiveness and offer critiques in areas that we can improve,” said Senior Chief Gas Turbines Systems Technician (SW) Thomas Eicks, Engineering training team leader and Engineering departmental leading chief petty officer aboard Anzio.
The goal of ATG’s visit is for the ship to accurately assess themselves in all warfare areas. This allows a ship to make minor course corrections by only scheduling outside training assistance in the areas that need it, rather than the old system of completing all warfare areas as part of Command Assessment Readiness Training (CART), Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and FEP.
This will also validate a ship’s ability to train, self-assess and maintain higher levels of readiness.
"O'Kane worked hard to train regularly and implement SURFOR's vision of 'Continuous Training and Readiness.' By training regularly and maintaining all of our programs, minimal preparation was needed because O'Kane was always ready,” said Cmdr. James Duke, commanding officer of O’Kane. “ULTRA-S was a unique experience for a training assessment, as we were not in our local operating area as we are used to. Instead, we were on deployment and had to maintain the situational awareness of real world operations and events while at the same time executing ULTRA-S."
Each ship conducted a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile exercise, flying squad and first aid drills, engineering drills and evolutions, air defense exercises, man overboard drills, a search and rescue exercise, and a medium-complexity anti-submarine warfare exercise over a two day period.
The ultimate goal is to ensure all surface force units maintain and sustain the highest possible levels of proficiency at all times.
The ESG includes its flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Carrier Air Wing 7, Destroyer Squadron 28, guided-missile cruiser Anzio and the guided-missile destroyers Ramage and USS Mason (DDG 87).
JCSSG includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, guided-missile cruiser Antietam, guided-missile destroyers O’Kane and USS Preble, and the fast combat-support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10).
U.S. 5th Fleet’s are of operation encompasses 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.
From Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Public