March 2 (UPI) -- The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge departed Naval Station Norfolk for sea trials Monday, the Navy announced.
The crew is scheduled to test critical systems, operations and personnel requirements needed for deployment.
Planned tests include an anchor drop test, a live-fire demonstration using the ship's close-in weapons system, a small boat recovery evolution, and they will test the aqueous film forming foam fire suppression system.
"These sea trials are the beginning of the basic phase for Kearsarge," said Lt. Cmdr. Todd Mousel, assistant operations officer of Kearsarge. "It is the first major event at sea for the ship to start demonstrating its ability to be operational by performing various drills and tests."
According to Mousel, after being in the shipyard for a year, Kearsarge has gained a lot of new sailors who've never been out to sea, and this underway will give them a taste of life at sea and a better understanding of the mission.
"This underway is an opportunity for the ship to get the training it needs so we can join the rest of the amphibious ready group and eventually deploy," Mousel said.
"Once we complete all the training drills scheduled, we can move onto the next phase and become one step closer to meeting our goals and fulfilling our mission," Mousel said.