The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


TR conducts CIWS PAC fire during underway qualifications

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080320-09
Release Date: 3/20/2008 3:32:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Dominique Watts, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, At Sea (NNS) -- Crew members a board USS Theodore Roosevelt (TF) (CVN 71) conducted a Pre-action Aim Calibration (PAC) fire on the Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) while underway March 19.

CIWS, pronounced "sea-whiz," is a radar-guided, rapid-fire 20-millimeter Gatling gun that provides Navy ships with a defense against anti-ship missiles.

"What happened today was an exercise the ship must conduct monthly while underway. This exercise was completed for our maintenance requirements," explained Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) William H. Nassau, leading petty officer of Combat System's CS-7 division.

The shoot consists of three shots from two guns. The purpose of the PAC fire is to calibrate the point of what the radar detected to the point of where the rounds are fired.

Each gun mount is equipped with a fire control assembly and a gun subsystem. The fire control assembly is made up of a radar system for surveillance and detection of targets and a radar system for aiming the gun while tracking the target. The subsystem utilizes a gatling gun that has a cluster of six rotating barrels. The Gatling gun fires a 20 millimeter Tungsten penetrator that delivers approximately 75 rounds per second.

"The purpose is to track a point in space, watch the rounds leave the gun and calibrate the two together," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Anthony Savee, Mount 21 work center supervisor. "The goal is to get those numbers to zero. This is called zero out."

"Having a successful shoot happens about nine out of ten times," continued Savee. "Today, the shoot was successful. Both Mount 21 and Mount 24 zeroed out."

When conducting a PAC fire, CIWS technicians have several steps they must take to ensure the evolution is a success. The first step is to conduct pre-fire maintenance, which involves safety checks and verifications of the rounds. The second step is the actual shooting of the CIWS and the third step is the post-fire maintenance. The post-fire maintenance requires the tasks of taking apart the guns, verifying the wear and tear of the equipment, re-greasing the moving parts and putting the guns back together.

The CIWS shoot is an excellent example of Sailors working together as a team to accomplish one important goal.

"Combat Systems must work together with the Navigation Department, who pre-designates the operating area for the shoot, getting us in the right spot at the right time," said Chief Fire Controlman (SW/AW) Luis Gloria, leading chief petty officer of CS-7 division. "The flight deck crew helps keep the area secure for the shoot, weapons provides the ordnance – everyone plays an important role in making this exercise happen successfully."

Commanded by Capt. Ladd Wheeler, USS Theodore Roosevelt is the centerpiece of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRSCG). The TRSCG is preparing for a scheduled deployment later this year.

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit

Join the mailing list