“Man our ship and bring her to life!” With that simple phrase, the sponsor of a new warship marks a vessel’s transition into the Fleet at commissioning. The ceremony is the climax of a long and arduous process that has turned shapeless steel into an operational Fleet asset. Numerous milestones mark the complex regimen, the most significant of which include laying the keel, christening, crew move-aboard, sailaway, commissioning, and final arrival at homeport. Behind it all stands the ship’s lifeblood—her precommissioning crew and the training that it receives while construction is under way.
Precommissioning is lengthy and sometimes tedious. Two recent veterans suggest ways to have a crew and ship at peak readiness for sea duty.
By Lieutenant Jeremy D. Crestetto, U.S. Navy, and Lieutenant Jeffrey W. Coyle, U.S. Navy