USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 pilots flew aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), underway in the Pacific Ocean, for carrier qualifications (CQ), July 18.
Since returning from deployment in March, Lincoln has maintained a mission-ready status. The ship recently completed a port maintenance period and has been underway since July 13.
CVW 2 squadrons tested their pilots by completing field carrier landing practice (FCLP) using the Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System (IFLOLS) at their home station flight lines prior to flying on board Lincoln.
Conducting FCLP using a stationary IFLOLS prepares pilots for CQ. Pilots must engage in out-to-sea flight operations within 170 days of their most recent at-sea landing, known as a trap, to re-qualify on a deployed carrier. For CQ flights, the pilots' performances are graded by their landing signal officers (LSOs).
Pilots hone their skills during CQ by trapping arresting gear wire and performing the necessary number of "touch-and-go's" on a pitching flight deck, said Lt. Eric Vanlandingham, a VAW-116 pilot from Silver Spring, Md. The required number is dictated by the LSO Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS).
Lincoln's Air department and CVW 2 squadron personnel will have worked day and night for seven days completing their CQs to meet the mission.
"We have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Jerry Pitts, V-1 division's assistant leading petty officer. "Through this training process, we develop a team spirit. We're able to rely on each other 100 percent."
The CVW 2 squadrons are the Bounty Hunters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2, the Vigilantes of VFA-151, the Kestrels of VFA-137, the Blue Blasters of VFA-34, the Sun Kings of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, the Lancers of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 131, the Providers of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, the Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 and the Saberhawks of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.