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USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts Crew Certification Cruise

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS091029-18
Release Date: 10/29/2009 3:07:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Adam Prince, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) took part in a 24-hour, pierside crew certification cruise Oct. 28 at Naval Station Norfolk.

Ike Sailors simulated many underway evolutions, including entering and exiting port, transporting and detaining intruders, locating and combating fires, and taking on fuel and supplies.

"We are doing a crew certification cruise to ensure that Ike's prepared to get underway," said Capt. Ted Williams, Ike's executive officer. "We're testing our systems, equipment, and we're testing and training our personnel to make sure we are ready to go for our upcoming Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and then deployment."

Williams explained that none of these tasks are easy; they all take a lot of time and effort, and it's something Ike Sailors were focused on during the certification cruise. While the crew completed a combat deployment in July 2009, many new faces have joined the Eisenhower team.

"We've been in port for the better part of three months, and while we are a very proficient and talented crew, coming off a successful deployment in 2009, there is always some atrophy in skills and I want to make sure those are brought up to speed," explained Williams. "We're here to put forth good effort towards achieving our objectives."

Williams stressed two keys that all hands aboard Ike should focus on.

"It's very important that everyone is very good at their job," said Williams. "Everyone has a specific job, and it's critical that each Sailor knows their job very well. Everyone also needs to know how to defend the ship and how to take care of the ship in the event of an emergency or casualty. So we can fight the ship and keep her afloat."

Ike Sailors practiced fighting the ship during several damage control drills. The crew also participated in an abandon ship drill, a mass casualty drill and simulated an underway replenishment.

Ike's Navigation Department took full advantage of the crew certification cruise. The cruise gave them an opportunity to simulate many of the navigation evolutions the ship will face during COMPTUEX.

"All of today's preparation and training is essential to prepare us for COMPTUEX and deployment," said Quartermaster 3rd Class (SW) Riza Villar.

Navigation prepared briefs for getting underway, an underway replenishment, and returning to homeport. They also simulated conducting operations during the general quarters and abandon ship drills.

"Navigation also trains to respond to any and all emergencies that occur underway and anything that could put the ship in danger," said Villar.

All of these exercises are designed to prepare Ike Sailors for the rigors of COMPTUEX.

"I'm extremely proud of this crew. I've seen this crew come out of the shipyards, put it together, and work through some challenging times and schedules to hit a home run with an outstanding combat deployment earlier this year," said Williams.

"We've come home, had a great standdown, people got some great time off, and our October maintenance period was very successful," added Williams. "Now we've got to do it again; we've got to put it back together and get up to speed…I have no doubt in my mind that the crew will answer the call and respond as the finest crew on the waterfront."

Ike, homeported in Norfolk, Va., recently completed a five month underway on July 30 and is preparing to deploy again at the beginning of the year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Maritime Security Operations.

For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.



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