USS Harry S. Truman Recovers 75,000th Aircraft

Story Number: NNS080117-16Release Date: 1/17/2008 3:57:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James Fallon, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS Harry S. Truman, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) recovered its 75,000th aircraft without a single mishap Jan 14.

Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Equipment] (AW) Travis Branan said he was aboard Harry S. Truman when it recovered its first aircraft, an F/A-18 Hornet on Aug. 14, 1998.

"What this means is that I am part of history," said Branan. "I was here for the first recovery and now the 75,000th. I am retiring in a couple of months and I am happy to be a part of this historic landing. This means that in the past ten years everyone came home with all of his or her fingers and toes intact."

Cmdr. Ken McKown, Harry S. Truman's air boss, said to catch 75,000 aircraft without a mishap is a demonstration of technical expertise on the flight deck. He said it is an accomplishment and a huge demonstration of the professionalism on board Harry S. Truman.

"Almost 10 years or 75,000 successful recoveries without a mishap proves dedication for some of the hardest working Sailors on the ship," McKown said. "There is no such thing as luck. We make our own luck."

McKown lives by a famous quote by Thomas Edison, "Luck favors the prepared."

"If you are prepared to be lucky, it takes practice, it takes training, it takes integrity, it takes motivation and it takes enthusiasm," added McKown.

Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Equipment] (AW) Casey Nalley said this code of conduct on the flight deck is what sets this ship apart from the other ships in the fleet.

"Recovering 75,000 aircraft is a milestone," said Nalley. "It's a testament to all the hard work and dedication the flight deck crew members put in everyday. They are some of the hardest working Sailors you will ever meet in your life."

Nalley said the aviation boatswain's mates, better known as ABs, put in an average of 18 to 19 hours everyday. He added that ABs are the heart and soul of naval aviation.

"They overcome their adversities day in and day out because of their AB pride that bleeds over from the generations before us," Nalley said. "I am proud to be the chief for this historical occasion. It doesn't seem like it's a great life, but we are proud of what we do, and to catch 75,000 aircraft without any mishaps is absolutely amazing."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Equipment] 2nd Class (AW) Richard Berger said the pride of an AB comes from being wrapped up in their job that they eat, drink and breathe operating, maintaining and repairing aircraft catapults, arresting gears and barricades.

"Recovering 75,000 aircraft is just another day in what we do," Berger said. "To catch 75,000 aircraft without a single mishap demonstrates that Truman is the best carrier in the fleet, because we've got top quality leadership. Our chiefs and our boatswain's mates are number one. They come in here and take charge to make sure everything that we do is done with the strictest attention to detail, which is ultimately the source of our success."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Equipment] Airman Robert Figueroa, engine operator helped catch the 75,000th aircraft.

"To catch the 75,000th is a milestone," Figueroa said. "I honestly had no idea that I caught the 75,000th aircraft. I hope the ship catches 175,000 more aircraft without any."

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Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handler) 3rd Class Gerald J. Garces, assigned to Air Department's V-1 division aboard the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
080114-N-2984R-121 PERSIAN GULF (Jan. 14, 2008) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handler) 3rd Class Gerald J. Garces, assigned to Air Department's V-1 division aboard the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), taxies an aircraft during flight operations. Truman and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 are underway on a scheduled deployment in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations, in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo J. Reyes (Released)
January 15, 2008
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