USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) successfully completed the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), June 15.
“You demonstrated to the American people that you know how to maintain and operate this equipment,” said Commanding Officer Capt. Putnam H. Browne. “The CNAL inspector who has been with us for the last year said he has never seen a ship put in more effort into an INSURV inspection than you guys did.”
During the four-day inspection, Abraham Lincoln hosted more than 200 INSURV inspectors who conducted more than 415 inspections of the ship’s material and operational readiness. Abraham Lincoln passed with an 85 percent, the best score for a carrier on the east coast.
“Hard work and preparation… lots of preparation,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Jason Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln’s INSURV central leading petty officer. “Those two actions were the driving force behind Abraham Lincoln’s successful INSURV.”
Last week’s inspection was the final phase of the INSURV process. Abraham Lincoln completed five practice INSURV phases, which represented the crawl, walk and run process – slowly building knowledge and momentum between each one on the way to the INSURV material inspection.
The Board of Inspection and Survey, formed roughly 150 years ago, is the premiere Navy inspection entity. It is comprised of both service members and civilians who have considerable fleet experience. They attend school for training and conduct practice inspections before earning their spot.
“[INSURV] was put in place because there were ships essentially rotting at the pier right after the Civil War,” said Rear Adm. Erik Matthew Ross, president of INSURV. “Congress said we need a board of inspectors to make sure we can take care of those ships. There are men and women all over the country who want to know that we are ready to go to combat, and that our sons and our daughters are going to be safe. They want to know that we are going to be able to win the fight.”
For many junior Abraham Lincoln Sailors, this was their first time experiencing INSURV. “When we first started this in November, there were a lot of rumors about what INSURV could, or would be like,” said Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Kory Coleman, a member of Abraham Lincoln’s INSURV central team.
Once the practice phases actually began, however, Sailors realized what items needed improvement and got to work fixing the discrepancies. The crew has corrected 12,998 discrepancies since November 2017.
“We are grateful for all the hard work,” said Hamilton. “Some Sailors might not see it because of all the hard days, long days and staying overnight, but the whole command definitely appreciates it.”
The inspections canvassed functional areas across all departments including habitability, damage control equipment, navigation and engineering, to name a few. Inspectors were looking for cleanliness, preservation and anything that would materially impact the ship’s ability to go into combat.
“The communication amongst the departments has been very good and has improved throughout our process of preparing for this,” said Cmdr. Brett Lukasik, Lincoln’s air operations officer and INSURV coordinator. “From the beginning, we received accolades for being very courteous and professional throughout, which sets the stage, because then when the inspectors come aboard, they’re not expecting a culture of conflict.”
Now that Abraham Lincoln has passed INSURV, it is ready to take on Carrier Strike Group 12 and prepare for deployment. Everything we do as a strike group will be geared to protecting our nation, ensuring the freedom of the seas and preserving our interests around the world.
“INSURV is a big deal,” said Coleman. “It is clear that it took every department and every Sailor, from bottom to top of the chain of command, to get this done. The ship can move forward as one team.”
As Executive Officer Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt says, the teamwork made the dream work.