Carl Vinson Sailors train at NAS Fallon

Story Number: NNS080318-08Release Date: 3/18/2008 1:05:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Candice Villarreal, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

FALLON, Nev. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) refreshed their skills in ordnance handling procedures Feb. 8-29 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon.

For Sailors assigned to the "Gold Eagle" Weapons Department, G-3 division, the trip offered valuable field training while providing an opportunity to earn qualifications through the Weapons Ordnance Qualification and Certification Program.

"We qualified 12 new Sailors and gave them the opportunity to get some of the best training they've had since they've been on board Vinson," said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (AW) Lloyd Walker. "What we did there is the equivalent of what our at-sea air operations will entail."

Because the aircraft carrier is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH), the training was the first time many of the ship's junior Sailors had the chance to work with some of the Navy's most powerful weapons systems.

For more senior Sailors, the visit to Fallon was an opportunity to brush-up on their in-rate skills.

"The training gave us a chance to re-familiarize ourselves with some of the ammo and equipment we haven't touched since we entered the shipyards for RCOH," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW) Jonathan Tolar. "Plus, it gave our junior Sailors a good look at what they'll be doing when Carl Vinson gets underway again."

During their three weeks at Fallon, Carl Vinson Sailors used and assembled both live and training ordnance. They worked with the Linkless Ammunition Loading System (LALS-3), the newly-modified Cambre air-to-air and air-to-ground test set, Inert GBU joint defense ammunition systems, and AIM 9X "Sidewinder" missiles.

Additionally, they had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with cutting-edge "Smart Weapons" that are equipped with global positioning systems for on-target accuracy.

With such a diverse exposure to weapons technology and equipment, Walker said the training provided an ideal learning environment that will prepare his Sailors for aircraft carrier missions at sea.

"The only other way our Sailors can get training on shore is through mobile ordnance training teams or rate-specific schooling," said Walker. "Even then, it wouldn't be in such great depth or in such a realistic setting, and it wouldn't be the same as what we'll soon be doing out at sea. Our Sailors are now ready to go to sea and perform our mission."

USS Carl Vinson is undergoing its scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.

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