USS CARL VINSON (NNS) -- A handful of civilian aircraft artisans currently deployed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) have multiplied the availability of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9's mission-capable aircraft.
Aircraft structural craftsmen James Trammel, Les Martel and Bob Tou from Naval Air Pacific Repair Activities' (NAPRA) maintenance detachment, based out of Okinawa, Japan, have completed more than 30 depot-level repairs since joining the Carl Vinson/Carrier Air Wing 9 team back in March.
"A depot-level repair means that, normally, the aircraft would have to be taken off the ship to fix," Trammel said. "In most cases, the bird can't fly, so taking it off the ship isn't an option. That's why we're here."
NAPRA's labor benchmark allows three days to complete each repair job. To date, these goals have been met well within the prescribed time. Trammel's team has completed the repair jobs in less than 24 hours each.
This success rate has kept CVW-9's aircraft out of the hangar bays and in the skies, providing valuable air support and flying long-range combat missions in support of Iraqi and multinational forces - a primary component of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group's mission while conducting maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf.
Maintaining high efficiency, however, hinges on teamwork. Although NAPRA's team comes equipped with roughly 5,000 pounds of their own tools and equipment, they rely heavily on support from squadron maintenance personnel and Sailors from Vinson's Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department.
"The repair team has flawlessly and seamlessly integrated themselves with the crew," said Air Wing 9's Maintenance Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Murphy. "Their dedication to our mission and tireless support has enabled us to keep our birds up and overall repair cost down. They have really done a fabulous job at supporting Carrier Air Wing 9's mission."
To date, NAPRA has provided their expertise and craftsmanship to more than 30 ships, with an estimated 706 completed depot-level repairs in support of the global war on terrorism. These repairs enable naval forces to stay on station to deny international terrorist organizations use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other materials.
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed to the Persian Gulf. The strike group is conducting operations in support of multinational forces in Iraq and maritime security operations in the Gulf in order to set the conditions for security and stability in the region.
The Carl Vinson Strike Group is comprised of Carrier Strike Group 3, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 31, Carl Vinson, the guided-missile destroyers USS O'Kane (DDG 77) and USS Mustin (DDG 89), the fast combat support ship USS Camden (AOE 2), the fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 9.
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