By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. A. Mateo, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducted an on-load of an estimated 3.9 million pounds of ordnance, June 1-3, preparing the ship for upcoming work-up cycles and follow-on deployment.
MH-60S Sea Hawk assigned to the Nightdippers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 transferred weapons including missiles, small arms, and general-purpose bombs to Truman by vertical replenishment from the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12).
Lt. Cmdr. J. L. Bell, Truman's ordnance handler officer, said the completion of this on-load makes Truman fully equipped and capable of conducting combat operations.
The successful completion of this on-load means the ship will be loaded to complete all the training for Tailored Ship's Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP) and Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). TSTA/FEP is the first combined training event in the inter-deployment training cycle and places emphasis on damage control, flight deck operations and simulated combat. COMPTUEX is a series of training scenarios set to qualify Truman as a deployment-ready carrier. The exercise is designed to bring together a battle group and its components into a fully functional fighting team.
"Over 1,340 pallets of ordnance were transferred to Truman during a three-day evolution," said Bell. The ordnance is available for the ship and squadron to use during the training cycle.
Truman's Gun Boss, Cmdr. J. D. McDonald, said a successful evolution is based on the cooperation of many departments.
"Although this is [a Weapons] department evolution, it is truly an all-hands effort," said McDonald. "Supply department made sure we had food and drinks during the
long hours, AIMD and Air department contributed by moving ammunition, while security kept traffic in the hangar bay and flight deck secured."
Bell said the success of the on-load was a combination of training and supervision.
"Every Sailor that was involved with transporting ordnance earned qualifications and completed training throughout the year," said Bell. "We conducted ordnance handling training, forklift courses in the hangar bay and in the magazines as well as weapons elevator training. The entire Weapons department was involved with the training and execution of this evolution."
Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class J. Osorio explained the large role safety plays during an on-load. Sailors practiced time critical operational risk management by assessing every situation while considering the safety of their shipmates.
"Safety was the primary responsibility of everyone involved with the on-load," said Osorio. "Every station had leadership such as officers, master chiefs, chiefs and leading petty officers to monitor the movement of every ammunition.
Sailors also moved ammunition with, at least, one other safety spotter to make sure the path was cleared and the movement was meeting all safety standards."
Armed and ready, the ship is scheduled to begin TSTA later this month.