Ronald Reagan Earns Flight Deck Certification

Story Number: NNS071109-20Release Date: 11/9/2007 2:16:00 PM
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From USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The officers and crew of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to homeport Nov. 9 after completing flight deck certification.

The certification came only four short days after Ronald Reagan left Naval Air Station North Island.

Ronald Reagan's flight deck certification underway period comes shortly after completing a six-month planned incremental availability one day ahead of schedule.

According to Cmdr. John Breast, Ronald Reagan's air boss, getting the flight deck certified by the commander, U.S. Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet Handling Team is a major step in preparing the ship to return to combat readiness.

Breast said there are three stages in the final certifications. "The first is the advanced recovery control certification. Next we have the precision landing equipment certification, for the Sailors in air operations."

"Lastly are the controls for the operations department, flight and deck certifications for air department," added Breast.

In addition, a key part of the certification process included how Sailors responded to simulated crashes and fires.

The crew spent many long hours in port getting ready for the underway period. Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 9 took part in the certification process.

"The certification actually started around 60 days ago, with checking the administrative paperwork," said Lt. Derek Jensen, Ronald Reagan's aircraft handling officer. "There is also a check to see if all flight deck personnel have proper PPE [personal protective equipment]."

After a successful certification, Breast said he looks forward to continuing the mission and completing carrier qualifications.

According to Breast, it's not just the Sailors who work on the flight deck that made the flight deck certification possible.

"It takes all 3,000 of us aboard Ronald Reagan to do our job," said Breast. "Each department plays an important role."

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Aircraft directors, wearing yellow flight deck uniforms, signal two F/A-18C Hornets, attached to the Blue Diamonds of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146.
071108-N-0555B-070 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 8, 2007) - Aircraft directors, wearing yellow flight deck uniforms, signal two F/A-18C Hornets, attached to the "Blue Diamonds" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146, into position on the bow catapults aboard Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The carrier is underway in the Pacific Ocean conducting carrier certifications. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher D. Blachly (RELEASED)
November 9, 2007
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