Sunday, July 22, 2012

Truman Earns Flight Deck Certification

By By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Taylor DiMartino, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) completed flight deck certification July 19, four days after its 16-month docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) ended.

Eight squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 embarked Truman to complete aircraft launches and recoveries during Truman's flight deck certification and will continue flight operations during carrier qualifications.

Truman's flight deck certification was the result of the hard work of all the Sailors and Marines underway with Truman, said Lt. James Sandifer, carrier air traffic control center (CATCC) watch officer.

Flight deck certification included qualifying CVW-3's air crew and getting Truman's flight deck personnel back into the swing of air operations, said Lt. Cmdr. David Walston, V-0's division officer from air department.

To become flight deck certified, Truman required 120 launches and recoveries during the day and 40 during the night across the span of three days.

"Completing flight deck certification was a team effort between Truman's crew and the air wing," said Walston. "The drills were accomplished because we were able to quickly come together as a team."

The precision approach landing system (PALS) also played an integral role during certification. The PALS sends a radar signal to pilots, which assists them in correcting aircraft to successfully land aboard Truman. PALS is inspected and certified by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic personnel.

In addition to launching and recovering aircraft, the crew had to conduct several fire drills and taxi drills to transport the jets around the flight deck and hangar bays.

The air wing supported Truman during flight deck certification, and now Truman can support air wing pilots as they earn carrier qualifications, said Walston.

"We have the best working relationship between crew and air wing that I have ever seen," said Walston. "The pilots trust our Sailors on the flight deck, and in turn, the flight deck Sailors trust the pilots."

Now that flight deck certification is complete, the Truman/CVW-3 team will continue preparing for deployment by conducting carrier qualifications.