USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) is out to sea again, which means Sailors from V-1 Air Department will finally be able to work with aircraft again as the various squadrons attached to Truman bring their aircraft on board this underway period.
Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Handling] (AW/SW) Jeff Brownlee, flight deck leading chief petty officer aboard Truman, said 49 squadron aircraft will be joining the ship to participate in the Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA). Truman must coordinate with the air wing to prove that she is capable of carrying out flight operations during the TSTA evolutions.
"We are trying to show the admiral that we're ready," Brownlee said. "Our entire ship operates very well. Everybody who has come to the ship has said we operate like a ship that's been out of the shipyards and has been running flight [operations] for a long time. We take a lot of pride in that. We just have to show the people who have come out here to look at that very thing -- to show them we're ready for the next step."
Truman began taking aircraft aboard April 18, and the hangar bays are now full of Prowlers, Super Hornets and Hawkeyes.
"We'll be working with seven squadrons," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class (AW) Doll Pope, an elevator operator for V-1. "We have two F/A-18 squadrons consisting of the legacy models, two F/A-18 squadrons consisting of Super Hornets, one EA-6B squadron consisting of Prowlers, one E2-C squadron and the [helicopter] squadron."
Pope said the Sailors in her department do not normally get to work within their rates until Truman goes out to sea. However, during the last in-port period, air department worked tirelessly to prepare for the oncoming air wing.
"That's our house," said Pope. "We have to make sure our house is clean before we get company. During the last in-port period, we had over 80,000 feet of non-skid to resurface the deck, so we would be prepared to take on these jets."
Teamwork is one of the keys to passing the upcoming TSTA evolution, said Pope.
"As long as we take care of what we're supposed to do on our side, the air wing will take care of what they do," she said. "Once we work together, it shows that, if we are called to do a mission, we will be able to fight. We're doing everything in our power to make sure the ship is qualified and up to par, so when these jets touchdown, we can catch them and do what we're supposed to do up there."
Brownlee takes a lot of pride in the effectiveness in which the Sailors on board Truman operate, and he said he feels Truman is ready for deployment.
"We have a great crew on board Truman," he said. "The flight deck operates extremely well and everybody else on the ship hits it on the spot every time. I couldn't imagine working with a better team."
Pope said she is excited to be out to sea because it allows her to practice her rate and work on aircraft.
"We're all excited to be working on jets again," she said. "When there are no aircraft on board we have a lot of general maintenance around the ship, but, for the most part, [aviation boatswain's mates] do most of their work out to sea. We always do the [foreign object damage] walk downs and blow downs, but when it boils down to it, we don't start pounding skid and showing our skills until we pull out to sea."
Brownlee said he is also excited to be working with aircraft during this underway because flight deck work is fast paced and challenging.
"It's always exciting and fast-paced. Things change in the blink of an eye. You have to think on the go every time. I've had 14 years of sea duty, and I love working on the flight deck. The best part of my job is watching everybody work as a team to make everything come together. The world's greatest air department is ready to run the ship out there."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.