Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Enterprise Completes 7,000th Trap

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Austin Rooney

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Crew members aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) took a quick break from ongoing flight operations Feb. 6 to celebrate the 7,000th arrested landing, or 'trap,' completed since Enterprise left the shipyard March 2010.

The ship's Commanding Officer, Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, invited crew members to participate in a cake-cutting ceremony in Enterprise's Flight Deck Control room to commemorate the occasion.

"This is quite an accomplishment," said Chief Warrant Officer Warren Baker, the ship's Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) maintenance officer. "My guys are dedicated; they put in a lot of hard work to achieve 7,000 traps in such a short period of time."

While it's an impressive feat for any aircraft carrier, Baker said the fact that the division had a young crew and the ship was just coming out of the shipyard made the accomplishment even more impressive. Hours of training and maintenance played a vital role in the division's ability to accomplish its mission.

"We sent a lot of our crew to other ships while we were in the yards so they could get qualified," said Baker. "That really helped out a lot. These guys are young, motivated and ready to do whatever it takes to get the job done."

Each successful trap involves the synchronized efforts of flight deck personnel and maintenance personnel working in the arresting gear rooms underneath. For each successful trap, hours of maintenance and are spent to make sure the equipment works well enough to support an aircraft landing.

"The engine room is what really stops the aircraft," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Jairo Alvarado, an operator working in arresting gear room 3/5. "I performed a lot of maintenance on this equipment to make sure it would work properly when we needed it."

Alvarado said the fact that a young and relatively inexperienced crew was able to complete 7,000 traps in six months was impressive, and shows how hard they have been working since the ship left the shipyard.

"This is a really high number, and it feels great to have been involved in making it happen," said Alvarado. "Without the entire crew doing their part we would never have been able to accomplish this."

As Enterprise continues to move forward with its mission, Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) (AW) Walter Fadrowski, V-2 Division's maintenance supervisor, said that without V-2 division maintaining the traps and helping to land aircraft, the ship would not be effective in its daily operations.

"The sole purpose of an aircraft carrier is the safe launch and recovery of aircraft," said Fadrowski. "Without that capability, what are we?"

Thanks to a focus on safety and attention to detail, Enterprise air and squadron crew members have made the 7,000th trap the one of many notable achievements already accomplished by Big 'E' just weeks into its deployment.

As of Feb. 6, Big 'E' has logged 968 traps during its 21st deployment, 7,087 traps since leaving the shipyard and is approaching 400,000 traps since its commissioning in 1961.

Enterprise Strike Group consists of Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.