Eisenhower Completes Sea Trials
Eisenhower Completes Sea Trials
By Journalist 2nd Class Paul Simonds,
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs.
Norfolk, Virginia -- (NNS)
October 21, 2005 -- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) successfully completed Sea
Trials Oct. 20, marking another milestone in the warship’s long and storied
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower --
U.S. Navy photo
Following her four-year, mid-life Refueling Complex Overhaul
(RCOH) and four-month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA), Ike is now operational
and beginning the journey toward becoming surge ready.
“The ship is in much better material condition than it was four months ago,”
said Capt. Dan Cloyd, Ike’s commanding officer.
“The crew has performed magnificently. To be able to get through RCOH
successfully and then to taste the operational side earlier this year and then
go back to a shipyard environment, and to come through it with such esprit de
corps is inspiring,” Cloyd added.
PSA, supervised by Norfolk Naval Shipyard, afforded Ike’s crew the opportunity
to finish up any work remaining from RCOH.
“The Post Shakedown Availability is all about completing work packages that
result from the Refueling Complex Overhaul and this spring’s Sea Trials,” said
“Norfolk Naval Shipyard was essentially the Navy’s supervising authority,” said
Lt. Cmdr. Brian Lepine, Ike’s maintenance manager. “Their function was to
oversee the 85 contractors, Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard workers, and
the Naval Shipyard.”
“One of the success stories out of this is the fact that we accomplished in four
months what normally would take six months, and we also performed this work
pierside at Naval Station Norfolk rather than in a shipyard,” Lepine added.
By starting a couple of larger projects ahead of the actual start of the PSA/SRA
and bringing workers aboard Ike while underway in the Spring, Ike was able to
reduce the availability to four months.
Eisenhower’s crew enhanced many of the communication systems aboard.
Improvements were made to the ship’s radio systems, telephone systems and combat
systems suites. Ike was also able to establish the Integrated Communications
Advanced Network (ICAN), making her one of only three aircraft carriers in the
fleet to have ICAN.
“ICAN is an integrated backbone system,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class
Kevin Richardson, Ike’s ICAN work center supervisor. “It distributes all
navigation, communication, and machinery controls. It is a 3,000-piece network
that controls everything from deep fat fryers in the galley to list control,”
Now that Ike has successfully completed PSA, 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 the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), will allow Ike to
increase its combat readiness.
Once Ike is combat ready, she will be primed to become surge ready and answer
any call that may result from the Navy’s Fleet Response Plan, which requires
surge ready aircraft carriers and their strike groups to deploy whenever and
wherever the nation needs them.
“We have to complete the Tailored Ship’s Training Availability and Final
Evaluation Period and the Composite Training Unit Exercise successfully; at that
point we will become surge ready and be able to deploy worldwide,” Cloyd said.
During Sea Trials, the carrier engaged in high-speed turns and various other
tests. As the crew took their ship out to sea, it was proven that Ike can
withstand the rigors of at-sea operations, following a pierside shipyard
Sea Trials was a culmination of hard work, determination, and vigilance by the
Ike team. Though the crew that brought Ike into Northrop Grumman Newport News
shipyard in 2001 has turned over, their spirit has remained steadfast.
“For the last four to five years, the crew and the shipyard and the entire Navy
maintenance community have poured a lot into the ship. It’s time now to start
realizing the results of that investment,” said Cloyd.