NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) began participating in a fast cruise exercise April 11 at the conclusion of an extended overhaul period.
The fast cruise is a major milestone due to the amount of work that has been completed on the 48-year-old warship during the maintenance period.
The exercise helps to ensure that all crewmembers are ready to get the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier back out to sea after spending two years in the shipyard.
It's also providing an opportunity to test all of the ship's systems in preparation for sea trials scheduled to follow.
"The main objective for this event is to make sure everyone knows their role before the ship gets underway," said Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Dominic A. Musso. "Fast cruise is just like taking a car you are interested in purchasing out for that first test drive. The only difference is that we are doing it while attached to the pier."
Many of Enterprise's departments play an essential role in the event including Engineering, Reactor, Weapons and Deck. One of the key players is Lt. j.g. Joel J. Lopez, the ship's boatswain and 3rd division deck officer.
"My main responsibility during fast cruise is to ensure Deck department can carry out all the evolutions needed for at-sea operations," said Lopez. "We are performing several test checks on equipment like the anchors, pad eyes, sound-powered phones, and also verifying ship watch bills."
While fast cruise is vital for training Sailors and testing their shipboard knowledge, it also mentally prepares them in other ways.
"This event gets the crew back into the mindset of living on board," said Musso. "We have a lot of new Sailors who have never sailed on this ship before, and they have to get into the routine of how everything works on a daily basis from the berthing, ship's laundry, ship's store and even the chow lines."
Fast cruise will last approximately six days, with two days in between to fix any underlying issues found during equipment checks. Once the event is complete, Enterprise will leave the shipyard and begin its sea trials.
Enterprise is currently conducting a fast cruise exercise in the Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard in preparation for sea trials scheduled later this month. For more information about USS Enterprise, Carrier Strike Group 12 or Carrier Air Wing One visit www.Enterprise.navy.mil, www.ccsg12.surfor.navy.mil, and www.cvw1.navy.mil.
For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.