NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) certified the flight deck to launch and receive aircraft during an underway period Jan. 12-22 in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
Each of the divisions in the air department, referred to as V-1, V-2, V-3 and V-4, all played a different and vital role in the overall certification as Truman Sailors and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 practiced launching and recovering more than 160 aircraft without mishaps.
"We are certifying the flight deck so that we can carry out the ship's mission," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Electronics 1st Class (AW) Gerard Boyle, V-2 leading petty officer. "We will continue to launch and recover after we are qualified. These guys need the experience."
The Sailors of V-1 practiced taxing aircraft around the hangar bay and conducted aircraft firefighting drills.
"We are getting our Sailors refreshed and back into things," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Aircraft Handling 1st Class (AW) John Mirance, V-1's assistant leading petty officer. "Some people are rusty, but we are scraping the rust off."
V-2 manned the catapults to launch the aircraft, and the recovery lines to bring it back down. Other Sailors stood in the engine room to ensure there were no fuel leaks.
"V-2 is the backbone of the air department. Everybody surrounds us," said Boyle. "This is probably the youngest and the hardest working crew I've ever been out to sea with."
The Sailors of V-3 worked in the Hangar bay moving aircraft, conducting chock and chain procedures, aircraft landing and fire fighting drills.
"The majority of them are really catching on," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Aircraft Handling 1st Class (AW) Donavan Mahiai, assistant leading petty officer.
V-4 contributed by bringing fuel on board, fueling the aircraft and working on flight deck observer qualifications.
The new Sailors from Air and other departments must watch flight operations from vulture's row high above the flight deck, to observe launches and recoveries before they can go on the flight deck during flight operations. In addition to the designated flight deck safety gear, they wear a "T" on their cranial, which indicates training.
"They are ready to get out there and do what they joined the Navy to do. They're so hungry," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Fuels 1st Class (AW) Hawa Jenkins.
"The air department is one of the hardest working departments on the ship. We can't do it with one division," said Boyle. "We need them all together to complete the mission."
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.