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.