NORFOLK (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) returned to Naval Station Norfolk July 10 after completing sea trials, a four-day underway period to test the carrier's systems and overall mission readiness.
Sea trials were a part of Truman's 16-month docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).
"The crew did an absolutely fantastic job in getting the ship underway for the first time in more than a year," said Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, Truman's commanding officer. "This was a huge undertaking, but we prepared thoroughly to ensure a safe underway."
Sea-worthiness assessments aboard Truman ranged from a high-speed engine run and rudder swing checks to catapult and combat systems testing.
"As we came to the end of sea trials, we tested all of our equipment to make sure everything was working correctly," said Cmdr. Daniel Rossler, Truman's chief engineer. "We are out of the shipyard, stepping into the phase where we maintain the ship ourselves."
For Truman's crew, life at sea was a welcome change.
"Being out on the water was surreal," said Quartermaster 3rd Class Teresa Patterson, assigned to Truman's navigation department. "Sea trials were my first time underway in the three years I have been in the Navy."
It is challenging to work aboard an operational aircraft carrier, especially when bringing it into port, according to Patterson.
"It took unbelievable teamwork to bring a ship this size into Norfolk for the first time in over a year," said Quartermaster 1st Class (SW/AW) Sylvester Johnson, navigation department's leading petty officer. "Everyone needed to be on point and on time. Pulling the ship up to the pier required complete coordination with absolutely no mistakes from any department."
Truman Sailors conducted all evolutions in a professional manner, according to Johnson.
"It feels great to bring America's greatest warship back to its homeport," said Mewbourne.
Truman is scheduled to conduct flight deck certification and carrier qualifications as part of its rigorous work up cycle in preparation for its next deployment.
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