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Kitty Hawk, CVW-5 Depart for Summer Underway Period

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050525-13
Release Date: 5/25/2005 4:02:00 PM

From USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), after completing almost two months of scheduled maintenance and three days of at sea training, departed its forward-deployed operating port of Yokosuka, Japan, May 23, for its summer underway period, along with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.

With a combined crew of approximately 5,300 Sailors from Kitty Hawk and CVW-5, the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier team will spend the underway period conducting carrier qualifications, strike training, drills and exercises, operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For CVW-5, the first order of business is carrier qualifications.

“Every air crew that hasn’t flown in the last 30 days needs to requalify to land on Kitty Hawk,” said Lt. Cmdr. Joe Girard, CVW-5’s landing signal officer.

“We need to have all of our air crews proficient at landing on an aircraft carrier.”

Carrier qualifications began May 23 and will continue until all of the air crews have requalified, said Girard.

“We grade every air crew on their landings and evaluate their flying skills,” he said. “If we judge them to be doing both safely, they are requalified.”

Carrier qualifications usually do not take very long for the air crews of CVW-5 to complete, said Girard.

“If conditions are right, we can get them done in just a matter of a few days,” he said.

According to Girard, these favorable conditions include nice, clear weather and seas that aren’t too rough, thus ensuring the flight deck will be steady.

For Kitty Hawk’s engineering department, the summer underway period will also feature plenty of tests and drills.

“Right away, we’ll be conducting online verifications and boiler flexes,” said Senior Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) David Singer, engineering department’s maintenance and materials management assistant.

Both of these tests are meant to ensure that Kitty Hawk’s boilers are in good shape, said Singer.

“Online verifications are preventive maintenance (PMS) on the boilers, while boiler flexes are tests of the automatic boiler controls to make sure they’re functional,” he said.

According to Singer, the PMS done during online verifications ensure the boilers are providing adequate steam to engineering’s propulsion plant control systems.

Throughout the underway period, engineering will also conduct drills dealing with damage control issues, said Singer.

“We’ll have emergency casualty control, general quarters and main space fire drills,” he said. “All of these drills should go smoothly because most of our Sailors are quite familiar to the process.”

For combat systems department, the summer underway period will be used to make sure all of their systems are functioning properly.

“We’ll test weapons systems and make sure they are all performing as they should, make sure our radar is operating well, and ensure our computer networks are ready for upcoming exercises,” said Cmdr. Jon Lundquist, Kitty Hawk’s combat systems officer. “We also have a team from Naval Air Warfare Center’s aircraft division examining our precision approach landing system.”

Also ahead for this underway period is the carrier's planned participation in Exercise Talisman Saber ’05, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defense Force Joint Operations Command. Scheduled to occur in June in Australia’s Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Rockhampton, the exercise will focus on improving interoperability between the two nations.

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

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