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Sailors return from trials, ready for more

USS Kitty Hawk News Release

Date: 10/18/2002

By: JO2 Mark Elrod

The crew of USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) returned here Oct. 18 following sea trials refreshed from their brief at-sea period, ready for upcoming challenges.

The ship's combat systems department, like other departments, focused on ensuring personnel and equipment was ready to go for Hawk's upcoming fall underway period.

"In a nutshell, the training objectives were to get all of the folks who had not been out to sea yet initially qualified in basic damage control and (basic maintenance), and in their own watch stations for the equipment that they have been trained on," said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Julian, Hawk's combat systems officer. They were successful in completing their training objectives, according to Julian.

"Combat systems is 100 percent basic damage control qualified and 100 percent (basic) maintenance person qualified," Julian said.

"We instituted a lot of combat systems training team drills," added Julian. "We did a live tracking exercise and a live firing exercise that benefited my whole weapons team, both in combat and out on the mounts."

In addition to live firing exercises, combat systems also did equipment checks, according to Julian.

"We were able to wring out all of our equipment and make sure it all worked with flight operations. All of the things that combat systems supports, our equipment also has to support," stated Julian. "We were able to fully test and repair as necessary and provide for the folks that we do support."

One of Hawk's engineers noted similar objectives met in his department.

"We went through some evolution training, some drills, and got certified by (a team from) Naval Air Forces, Pacific that our equipment is safe to run," said Machinists Mate 1st Class (SW) Gary Sullivan, one of engineering department's two main machinery room leading petty officers. "I think we did remarkably well, considering we haven't done that sort of thing in four months."

According to Capt. Robert D. Barbaree Jr., Hawk's commanding officer, the ship's deck department did a good job of working the rubber hull inflatable boats into the water during a man over board drill and rescuing "Oscar," a dummy that is thrown overboard to simulate a man in the water. He was also pleased, overall, with the brief at-sea period.

"We've had a very successful sea trials in my mind," said Barbaree, as he addressed the crew. "Most importantly we got back to sea and got to knock the rust off of our skills. Hawk is back."

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