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Kitty Hawk Passes Through IA Microscope

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050504-06
Release Date: 5/4/2005 1:09:00 PM

From USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) began its latest preparations for an Underway Demonstration (UD) with the successful completion of its Initial Assessment (IA) April 2.

An IA is a detailed inspection conducted by Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC), Kitty Hawk’s type commander, with assistance from Afloat Training Group (ATG). The inspection is conducted so that Kitty Hawk knows where it stands and can create a successful training plan, leading to a successful UD.

“This is the type commander’s chance to come down and get a baseline of where the ship is when we start our work-ups for the underway demonstration,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Leary, Kitty Hawk’s main propulsion assistant.

Kitty Hawk’s engineering department goes under the microscope during the IA. Inspectors from ATG look at the engineering plant’s material condition, program management reviews, and the level of knowledge of the watch-standers. IA inspectors also take a look at the engineering training team’s (ETT) evolutions and drills, including main space fire drills.

“Operations are evaluated by observing watch teams and ETT performance during routine evolutions and scheduled casualty control drills,” said Leary. “The inspection team also looks at the ability of the ETT to evaluate evolutions and to effectively and realistically impose and evaluate drills.”

To stand up to this close scrutiny, the engineering department started preparing for the inspection well in advance.

“Preparations started months ago,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Gallagher, Kitty Hawk’s damage control assistant. "We’ve had continuous training since January, preparing at-sea watches and fire parties for the inspection."

Further preparations included COMNAVAIRPAC visiting Kitty Hawk three weeks before the IA started. During that visit, 25 percent of the engineering department’s equipment was certified, explained Leary.

With preparations made, Kitty Hawk was ready as 17 ATG inspectors and three type commander representatives came aboard to begin the four-day IA, which was successfully completed in only three days.

“Originally scheduled by the type commander as a four-day event, the hard work of Kitty Hawk’s engineers ensured that it was completed in three,” said Leary. “As soon as the inspectors pointed out a discrepancy, our guys stayed up all night to fix it and show them the next day. The senior assessor commented that it was ‘one of the best IAs in a long time.’”

With the IA finished, Kitty Hawk is now making additional preparations for the Underway Demonstrations, the next inspection in Kitty Hawk’s training schedule.

“The reason the Initial Assessment went so well and that the Underway Demonstration is going to go well, is that we have a great bunch of Sailors and they work hard and do a great job,” said Leary.

The Kitty Hawk Strike Group is the largest carrier strike group in the Navy and is composed of the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, Carrier Air Wing 5, the guided-missile cruisers USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Cowpens (CG 63), and Destroyer Squadron 15.


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