USS Harry S. Truman, at sea (NNS) -- The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and Carrier Air Wing 3 team completed over 5,000 total successful aircraft launches and recoveries since their deployment began May 21.
The 2,500th catapult launch on July 23 was soon followed by the 2,500th arrested recovery July 24 while the ship conducted flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The successful, safe launch and recovery of a single aircraft on board Truman is an operation that involves a tremendous team effort, and repeating the task thousands of times in two months is something that those who were involved are very proud of.
"I am very proud of what we are doing here," said Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth Joubert, Truman's aircraft launch recovery equipment (ALRE) boatswain. "We are working well as a team day and night. That results in perfect maintenance, and keeps us safe."
"Completing 2,500 successful launches and recoveries without an incident is significant," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) (AW/SW) Jessica Hendon, Quality Assurance Supervisor for ALRE. "There is no margin for error here. I think our success says a lot about the caliber of work being performed by all of our Sailors."
Reaching benchmarks gives ALRE a way to reflect on what they have accomplished, but the real reason for tracking the numbers has nothing to do with earning recognition.
"Tracking the numbers is a very important part of maintenance," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) (AW/SW) Ronie Josey, maintenance chief for ALRE. "It allows us to monitor when maintenance is needed on all of the equipment used for launch and recovery."
Keeping the equipment maintained takes more than a keen focus on the numbers, it also takes the hard work of dozens of junior enlisted Sailors who overcome the challenges of the job with professionalism and determination.
"They put in a lot of long hours," said Hendon. "It makes me proud to see the amount of dedication our junior Sailors have. We have 18-21 year-old personnel handling multi-million dollar equipment. I think they make an amazing launch and recovery team."
Although the days are long and the work is tough, many Sailors say being a part of ALRE is a rewarding career opportunity.
"I get a chance to learn something new every day, and a chance to give my best effort to the ship," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman Apprentice Donnell Gray, assigned to V-2 Division. "It is also very exciting when a jet lands, and I get to be up there where all the action is all day."
"There were people here before me launching and recovering aircraft successfully, and when I am gone even more milestones will be reached," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Third Class (AW) Michael Williams. "I am proud I will always be able to say that I played my part in Truman's legacy."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.