Saturday, December 12, 2009

Truman Completes 90,000th Trap

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kayla Jo Guthrie

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) accomplished its 90,000th carrier arrest Dec. 6 during recent Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications (FRS CQ).

The 90,000th arrest, also called a "trap", was completed by aircraft 112 from Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 106.

"Achieving that many traps is a ship-wide team effort," said Cmdr. Bob Cady, Truman's air boss. "It is not just an Air department accomplishment. There are many moving parts and contributions that come from all of the departments on the ship. Whether it is delivering steam to the roof, wind over the deck, solid radar control, tires to the hangar bay, ammo to the guns, meals, medicine or morale; all of the crew members on board play an important part in generating the combat power that 90,000 sorties and arrestments is a measure of."

Traps, along with launches and touch-and-go's, have been a daily exercise for Truman during this FRS CQ period. FRS CQ periods help maintain Truman's combat readiness while also providing pilots time to earn needed flight hours and training.

During an average carrier qualification, Truman conducts 150-200 landings daily, said Lt.j.g. Joseph Justice, aircraft launch and recovery maintenance officer. During Justice's two-and-a-half years on Truman, the ship has completed about 23,000 traps, with about 1,500 traps this underway alone, he said.

"Overall, the number of landings accomplished says our equipment status is good to go and that we are mission ready," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) (AW/SW) Andre Farrel, V-2 division.
The process of recovering an aircraft involves many moving parts. The aircraft has a tail hook which connects to cables called arresting wires. The cables are managed by engine cylinders found below the flight deck, Justice explained.

Several complications can arise during the recovery process, said Justice. "Common problems are long cable run-outs, off-center landings and in-flight engagement [when an aircraft gains altitude, catches the wire and is slammed to the flight deck]," he added.

To adapt to and overcome these complications, V-2 relies on teamwork and communication.

"Teamwork is very important because everyone is trying to accomplish one mission and we all need to be on the same page," said Farrel. "The 90,000th jet trap landing is a big accomplishment. If we can conduct that many traps in 10 years, imagine what we can accomplish in 40 years."