George Washington Begins Sea Trials
George Washington Begins Sea
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice
USS George Washington Public Affairs
USS George Washington, at sea -- June 6, 2011 -- (NNS)
-- The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) returned to sea,
departing her forward-operating port of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka to
commence Sea Trials, June 5.
The aircraft carrier USS George
Washington (CVN 73) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka after an underway
period. George Washington departed Yokosuka in response to the complex nature of
the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan. George Washington is in
a routine maintenance period and departed Yokosuka March 21 with more than 580
civilian contractors and shipyard workers embarked, who continued to conduct
maintenance while the ship was underway and during two port visits to Sasebo.
"Sea trials are where we put the past six months of
maintenance to the test," said the ship's Commanding Officer, Capt. David
Lausman. "The crew worked extremely hard to make this warship the best in the
Navy and I have no doubt our Sea Trials will be a success."
Since December of last year, George Washington's crew
completed approximately 20,000 maintenance jobs totaling more than 500,000 man
hours of work.
"Sea Trials validate work has been completed properly and
that systems are fully operational to meet mission requirements," said Lt. Cmdr.
Andrew Serveas, George Washington's nuclear power limited duty officer (SWO).
Within the first hour of pulling out of port, George
Washington's Air department was in the Sea Trials spotlight running drills after
drill looking for the smallest deficiency.
On the flight deck and in the hangar bay, the ship's
Countermeasure Wash Down Systems was tested. With a mixture of sea water and
Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF), the Countermeasure Wash Down System is used
to remove chemical, radiological, and biological contaminants from the surface
of the ship in the event of an attack.
"This sea trial period is mostly for topside work; combat
systems, aircraft catapults, recovery systems, damage control systems," said
Serveas. "These systems are being tested during this underway period because
they could not be tested in port due to various limitations and restrictions."
Among the many systems being checked is the ship's arresting
gear for incoming aircraft. If it's not operating properly, the result could be
disastrous. But just as important as equipment, the crew is also getting
additional training during Sea Trials.
"We have to anticipate the weight of an aircraft when it
lands so that we can set the arresting gear for each aircraft's own weight,"
said Interior Communication Electrician Fireman Suzy Laughing from Ganado, Ariz.
"It's to ensure the right amount of pressure as the aircraft lands to prevent
any damage to the plane or injury to the crew."
"We are returning to sea with numerous upgrades to our
capability, but it's our crew, the men and women who serve aboard this mighty
warship; they are our real secret weapon. They are what make George Washington
special," said Lausman.
George Washington's mission is to ensure security and
stability in the Western Pacific and to be in position to work with our allies
and regional partners to respond to any crisis across the operational spectrum