By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class T. N. Fulgham, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) returned to Norfolk Naval Station after completing five days of sea trials, making the final milestone after a six-month condensed incremental availability (CIA) period, May 27.
Sea trials, which take place following a maintenance availability period, allow Truman and representatives from Norfolk Naval Shipyard to assess the ship's state of readiness and ensure maintenance was properly completed.
Truman and its crew, at sea for the first time since November 2014, tested equipment which supports surface operations, flight deck evolutions, deck seamanship and damage control readiness through various drills and system checks - ensuring both ship and Sailors are ready for future at-sea operations.
"During this underway, the crew completed in-depth general quarters training that was about as close to real-life scenarios as we can simulate," said Chief Mass Communication Specialist D. B. Withrow, chief of Truman's repair locker 1-Bravo. "Completing our training evolutions in an actual at-sea environment allowed us to identify and address areas we may have missed back in the yards."
Truman also used this critical juncture at sea to test newly implemented systems and complete qualifications.
"Training for me is better out at sea," said Airman M. J. Gotoy. "I work with [aviation boatswain's mates (fuel)] so whenever we are in port they explain the [systems] to you but you really don't understand it until you see it operating."
Command Master Chief Antonio D. Perryman said the crew trains to win and he believes, based off the crew's previous successes, they will come through when it matters.
"I think we have the best of the best; the finest crew that's out there," said Perryman. "I say that because our Sailors are very resilient, they are happy and they are hard workers. They are dedicated to the training. 'The buck stops with me' mentality is something that lies in the heart of every Truman Sailor. They've fought every day to make sure we are getting all we need. Everything we ask this crew to do, they've done and they've been flexible. They love what they do and they give their all, 100 percent of the time."
Perryman explained a condensed incremental availabilty period is not an easy time, but a necessary one. He said the crew worked hard to get the ship to its current level of readiness, however there is still a lot of work ahead.
"We came out on sea trials, we were successful and now we get to go home, button up a few things and get back underway," said Perryman. "We will continue to train; we will strive to be better. We have an ammo on load coming, and flight deck certs. We have a lot of moving parts so we have to continue to practice safety. We have to keep our operational risk management up and always continue to put things in front of the Sailors to keep them happy and keep them successful."
Truman will have a short break in homeport before heading back to sea for flight deck certification and Tailored Ship's Training Availability, more milestones in preparation for an upcoming deployment scheduled for later this year.