Damage Controlman 1st Class Joseph Ruiz communicates on a two-way radio during a countermeasure wash-down system test on the boat deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) during a rehearsal for Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). Ashland conducted preparations for the ship™s INSURV, scheduled for May 2018, just prior to wrapping up a five-month deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (Photo by (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay)
Boatswainís Mate 1st Class Dennis Castro signals to launch a U.S. Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) assigned to Amphibious Assault Vehicle Company, Combat Assault Battalion, from the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) during exercise Blue Chromite. The annual exercise between the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps is designed to strengthen interoperability and increase naval integration and proficiencies in amphibious warfare. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay)
Sailors assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) man the rails as the ship departs from Okinawa, Japan, to begin Blue Chromite. Blue Chromite is an exercise held between the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to strengthen interoperability and increase naval integration and proficiencies in amphibious warfare. (Photo by (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay)
OKINAWA, Japan (Oct. 30, 2017) The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) pulls into the harbor of White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan to deliver two mariners who were rescued at sea. Ashland, operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region on a routine deployment, is also in Okinawa to prepare for the joint U.S. Navy-Marine Corps exercise Blue Chromite. (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah Vi)
Sailors assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) maneuver the landing craft personnel (large) to render assistance to distressed mariners. . Ashland, operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region on a routine deployment, rescued two American mariners who had been in distress for several months after their sailboat had a motor failure and had strayed well off its original course while traversing the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan R Clay)
EAST CHINA SEA -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) conducted a rehearsal for Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) Nov. 7 as part of preparations for the ship's official assessment scheduled for May 2018.
Ashland embarked a team of 18 subject matter experts from Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11 and Commander, Task Force 76 to oversee rehearsal for the underway portion of an INSURV inspection.
INSURV was established by Congress to ensure that U.S. Navy ships are properly maintained in order to provide prompt and sustained mission readiness at sea. The inspection assesses nearly every piece of equipment on the ship to ensure it's capable of performing its intended mission and that the crew is adequately trained to operate the respective equipment.
During the rehearsal, Ashland performed the hundreds of material condition checks required and executed a complex schedule of events to demonstrate critical pieces of equipment such as ship's weapons and a full power run.
"I think Ashland is set up for success," said Capt. Jeff Oakey, deputy commodore for PHIBRON 11, who was the senior officer who embarked with the other SMEs. "The real reason Ashland is going to be successful is because of the crew."
Ashland has proactively taken measures to prepare for INSURV by holding regular self-assessments and establishing their own coordination team on the ship.
"I think the crew has been highly receptive," said Lt. Tao Cheng, Ashland's operations officer and INSURV coordinator. "[Crew members] have invested in the concept of preparation even as they focus on executing operations that have been integral to success during our deployment."
The rehearsal was the second of a total seven scheduled rehearsals and assessments before May.
"Our results are improving and you can tell that our people are getting more and more proficient each time," said Cheng. "I could not be more proud of the crew."
Oakey said Ashland has displayed competence in the ship's material condition and has performed above expectations.
"I'm confident that Ashland will do well in May," said Oakey. "I think, all the way through, the Ashland team seems to be pretty well in line, enthusiastic and committed to excellence."
Part of the Amphibious Force 7th Fleet amphibious ships based in Sasebo, Japan, Ashland has been on a routine deployment for the past five months as a ready-response asset for any of contingency.