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USS George H.W Bush Completes Ammunitions Offload

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120425-29

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Joshua K. Horton, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH At Sea (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) offloaded some of the ammunition it carried during her 2011 deployment March 21 in the first part of a two-part evolution.

The offload took about five hours to complete, and resulted in the transfer of approximately $10 million worth of ammunition from George H.W. Bush to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).

"Our job today was to ensure that the Eisenhower got the ammunition it needs for deployment," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Jesse Eldridge, Weapons department leading petty officer (LPO).

Beginning at 8 a.m., Sailors from both Weapons and Air departments moved ammunition up from the magazines and directed the flow of helicopter traffic on the flight deck.

"We had about 200 lifts altogether today," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class (AW/SW) Michael Diaz, assigned to Air department V-1 division. "Towards the end, we only had one helicopter picking up the ammo and dropping it off. To finish in the time that we did is pretty good."

Decisions about which items were staying and which items were going were made well in advance.

"Before we begin an evolution like this, we've got to identify what we have on board and what it is that they need now," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Christopher J. Morrison, leading petty officer of Weapons department's G-5 division.

In addition to advanced planning, proper coordination between departments played an integral role in the success of the evolution.

"The AOs play a huge role in the offload," said Diaz. "We count on them to have everything organized and on pallets, ready to go when the helicopter arrives. They did a great job and all of us on the flight deck just built on that."

George H.W. Bush will complete the remainder of its ammunition offload before its summer maintenance period.

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