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Kearsarge Air Department Hits 2,000 Evolutions for April

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050520-21
Release Date: 5/22/2005 3:29:00 PM

By Journalist 2nd Class (SW) Robert Keilman, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

PERSIAN GULF (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge’s (LHD 3) Air Department performed more than 2,000 mishap-free flight deck evolutions for the month of April 2005.

This marks the first time Kearsarge reached 2,000 evolutions since May 1999.

“It was stunning to hear that we performed more than 2,000 evolutions this early in our deployment,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) (AW) Joe Arce, Kearsarge’s flight deck leading chief petty officer. “These numbers are unheard of on an amphibious ship. You normally see this many evolutions on an aircraft carrier.”

The ship’s air department performed more than 132 aircraft moves in the hangar bay, and 712 moves on the flight deck; refueled aircraft with more than 216,000 gallons of JP-5 jet fuel; and conducted more than 1,372 aircraft launchings and recoveries.

“This milestone has been a superb team effort by all members of air department,” said Lt. Daniel Buhr, Kearsarge’s assistant air officer. “To perform these evolutions safely and efficiently, it requires everyone, from the air officer, down to the airman recruit.”

Buhr added that Sailors' ability to perform these evolutions stems from the training, motivation and their commitment to the command’s mission.

“At the end of a work day, my guys come inside the ship soaked from head to toe in sweat,” said Buhr. “We normally work 10-hour days of flight operations, two hours of positioning the aircraft on the flight deck prior to evolutions, and two hours afterward re-positioning the aircraft for the next day’s flight operations.”

Kearsarge’s Air Department supports aircraft from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Air Combat Element and an embarked detachment from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28.

Kearsarge is currently on a routine scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf.




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