USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE) completed sea trials June 15, marking another milestone in the warship’s long and storied career. During the sea trials, the aircraft carrier engaged in high-speed turns and various other tests. Along with testing the ship and its equipment, Sailors participated in drills ranging from man overboard to general quarters, as well as various other evolutions.
As the crew took their ship out to sea, it was proven that IKE can withstand the rigors of at-sea operations following a nine-month pierside shipyard availability period.
“At this stage, I could not be happier to see the way the crew and this ship have responded,” said Commander Paul A. Beckley, IKE’s operations officer. “The maintenance period] was critically important to the longterm maintenance of IKE, and the shipyard did an outstanding job.”
IKE’s crew accomplished nearly three hundred Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) items in three days. “Whatever needed to be done was done at the end of the day,” said Quartermaster 3rd Class Taquia Stokes from IKE’s navigation department. “I’m looking forward to getting to do the job I joined the Navy to do,” Stokes added.
The sea trials tested IKE materially and physically, said Beckley. “It is a testament to the crew that we were able to do this safely and with pride,” he added.
Eisenhower’s crew enhanced many of the communication systems, ship’s radio systems, telephone systems and combat systems suites. Basic maintenance and habitability upkeep, tiling, lagging and painting were done as well. During the availability, more than 260,000 man days of work were completed and major jobs such as refitting the reactor training spaces, main coolant check valve replacement and a brand new media center.
“We came out of the shipyard in better shape than when we entered it,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Tommy Hernandez, of IKE’s deck department. The crew’s extensive training during the availability, was key in preparing themselves for the arduous task of getting IKE underway after a long layoff.
Sailors’ training during the planned incremental availability (PIA) prepared them to get the ship back to the fleet and transition to being operational “mainly by preparing for AIRLANT-directed training evaluations and conducting general quarters drills, reviewing all watchbills, and performing additional medical, navigation, and air drills,” said LCDR Brock Miller, IKE’s training officer.
Now that IKE has successfully completed the PIA, she has commenced at-sea operations, working toward becoming surge ready. Her next major milestone will be flight deck certification. Those evolutions, along with on-loading ammunition and preparing for INSURV, will allow IKE to increase its combat readiness.
Source: us navy, June 16, 2011;