By MC3 Jered Wallem
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Public Affairs

Amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) successfully completed the Mobility Navigation (MOB-N) certification with an overall score of 98 percent by the Afloat Training Group (ATG) Sept. 12 off the coast of Mayport, Florida.

MOB-N is the warfare qualification associated with the safe navigation of Iwo Jima while at sea. After the maintenance availability, each ship must recertify in MOB-N. The certification for Iwo Jima began June 28 when the ship conducted its sea trials underway directly after the maintenance period.

"The biggest challenge that the Iwo team overcame was recovering proficiency that was lost during the 11-month shipyard period," said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Stines, navigator aboard Iwo Jima.

Iwo Jima Sailors spent their time during the maintenance availability training in simulators and studying to maintain operational readiness.

"We would go to the Navigation, Seamanship and Ship Handling Training (NSST) simulator to receive training and maintain and sharpen our knowledge on the bridge," said Quartermaster 3rd Class Chayleanne Dods.

The NSST simulator located on the Mayport Naval Station offers Sailors an opportunity to experience real-time scenarios which include low visibility, transiting in and out of port, ship traffic, and replenishments-at-sea. It also gives the Sailor an opportunity to work as a team to accomplish a mission together.

"Our biggest challenge was to be able to come together as a team, making sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing," said Quartermaster 3rd Class Dana Cheshire. "Being on the same page as everyone else as a team is a lot of work, which most people don't understand. I am extremely happy that we all pulled together and worked so well together."

"Navigation's junior Sailors were the driving force to score a 98% passing grade in MOB-N," said Quartermaster 1st Class George Deliyanides. "This is by far the best navigation team I've ever served with in my 14 years of service."