USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- Two years after landing on USS Nassau's (LHA 4) flight deck for the first time, the MV-22 Osprey made its return at a scheduled landing signal enlisted (LSE) qualification during flight operations Feb. 21.
Nassau's Air Department guided both the MV-22 and the MH-60S Knighthawk to the flight deck successfully during two days of flight operations.
"They would slide a little when they came in," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling 1st Class (AW/SW) Joshua Craig. "That is the only thing that really caught us off guard."
With the MV-22 being new to most personnel on the flight deck, four aviation boatswain's mates (AB) from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) joined the crew of Nassau to help familiarize Air Department with the aircraft. The four ABs helped refresh the flight deck personnel with hand signals and tie down points of the aircraft prior to the Osprey landing and were on hand to assist during the landings and take offs.
"This is proficiency training for our guys," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling Chris Perry.
The flight operations were used to help Air Department get practice working with aircraft in preparation for future mission requirements that Nassau will be tasked with. The flight operations also confirmed that modifications to the flight deck during the last yard period would work. The MV-22 is now able to taxi down the flight deck with ease utilizing the line up line that was painted on the flight deck for pilots to use as a guide.
Members of Air Department's Crash and Salvage Team were also able to take a closer look at the MV-22. The team had spent the previous two weeks before the aircraft arrived studying the manual, ADR-19, to familiarize themselves with the proper procedures when dealing with an emergency.
"The book [ADR-19] showed us how to rescue personnel and different ways to approach the aircraft with our truck," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling Airman Boubacar Tinni.
The team looked at everything from the proper lift points of the aircraft to emergency shut down procedures. They also modified some of their gear to deal with the unique shape of the MV-22.
Crash and Salvage was not the only ones who needed to make modifications for the MV-22. Aviation Boatswain's Mate Fuels faked out JP-5 hoses to avoid the intense heat coming from the exhaust of the Osprey.
"We had to be cautious of the heat from the exhaust coming too close to the fuel stations," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling 1st Class Donnie Hynson.
With the successful training that Nassau's Air Department received from the days of flight operations they are now more prepared to support any tasking that the ship may receive.
"There were only four people left from the first time it [MV-22] landed onboard," said Craig. "I can not stress it enough how well the guys did."
For related news, visit the USS Nassau (LHA 4) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lha4/.