Monday, May 11, 2009

USS George Washington Underway for Sea Trials, Carrier Quals

Sailors validate the shipboard firefighting system during an Aqueous Film Forming Foam system test on the flight deck aboard of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) to qualify the flight deck for operations. George Washington is conducting sea trials and carrier qualifications in the western Pacific Ocean following its first Selected Restricted Availability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Rachel N. Clayton/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73), with its crew of approximately 3,200 Sailors, departed from its forward-deployed homeport in Yokosuka, Japan, May 6 for sea trials and carrier qualifications in the Western Pacific after successfully completing its first Selective Restricted Availability (SRA).

Commanded by Capt. David A. Lausman, George Washington is the flagship for the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Kevin Donegan and comprised of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5; Destroyer Squadron 15 and the guided missile cruisers USS Shiloh (CG 67) and USS Cowpens (CG 63).

"The teamwork and cooperation amongst the maintenance professionals from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka and our crew were extraordinarily successful, allowing us to complete our first Selective Restricted Availability as the permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier here in Yokosuka," said Lausman.

The George Washington is conducting equipment testing and carrier landing qualifications with CVW 5 following its SRA period, during which Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard, Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka, and the crew of GW completed more than 10,900 jobs consisting of more than 127,000 man-days of work.

"I think it was a great job; a great coordinated effort," said George Washington's Command Master Chief J. R. Clark Sr. "In my 26 years in the Navy, it was one of the best coordinated efforts I have seen to get it done as flawlessly as we did."

"With all the maintenance complete, we very much look forward to getting GW [George Washington] back to sea in order to test all systems that will return this great warship to the highest state of readiness for the immediate return of Carrier Air-Wing Five," said Lausman.

Major work items during the maintenance period included upgrades to the ship's radar systems, phone systems, 115-volt power distribution system, and service steam system.
Inspection and preservation of more than 160 tanks and voids, and flight deck non-skid replacement was also accomplished. Repairs and upgrades to catapult launch and recovery systems were also completed and upgrades on a number of berthing compartments improved ship habitability.