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Kitty Hawk, CVW-5 Earn Aviation Safety Award

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070531-15
Release Date: 5/31/2007 6:20:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aaron Roob, Kitty Hawk Public Affairs

USS KITTY HAWK, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and Carrier Air Wing 5 earned the Admiral Flatley Memorial Award on May 25 for outstanding aviation safety in 2006.

The safety award is handed down from the Chief of Naval Operations to one aircraft carrier, its embarked air wing and one LHA/LHD-class amphibious assault ship and its attached Marine Corps unit, annually. It covers a one-year period and is based on the carrier and air wing’s total flight hours, days underway and aircraft launched and recovered without mishaps.

In 2006, Kitty Hawk had no class “A” mishaps and lowered the overall number of reportable mishaps by 50 percent since 2005, according to Lt. Joseph Stastny, ship’s industrial hygiene officer.

Stastny explained class "A" mishaps a are those that cause more than $1 million in equipment damage or result in a fatality or permanent full disability.

“The chain of command really pushed the operational risk management (ORM) process,” Stastny said. “The captain’s announcements mentioned safety tips every day. Safety was made a true top priority.”

For Strike Fighter Squadron 192 pilot Lt. Andrew Craig, this award means the Sailors are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do.

“It means we’re doing our job right,” said Craig. “In a training environment there is no excuse to be unsafe. In our ready room, we talk about incidents and mistakes made openly. We look out for one another on the flight deck.”

Stastny said the Naval Safety Center has praised former commanding officer Capt. Ed McNamee’s three ORM questions: “How can I screw this up, how can I keep from screwing this up, and if I can’t keep from screwing this up, who do I tell?”

McNamee previously won the Flatley award in 2002 while serving as commanding officer of the USS Wasp (LHD 1).

The Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group is on its summer deployment in the Western Pacific Ocean. The strike group is the U.S. Navy’s largest and includes the carrier, seven ships of Destroyer Squadron 15, two Aegis weapons system equipped guided-missile cruisers and Carrier Air Wing 5. The ships operate from Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, and the air wing operates from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan. Together, they serve as the U.S. 7th Fleet’s combatant force.



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