Mandatory Hurdle Passed On Way To 21st Deployment
USS Enterprise (CVN 65) successfully completed flight deck
certification May 14 pushing itself one step closer to its 21st
deployment. Flight deck certification is a requirement that every
aircraft carrier must achieve prior to deploying with fixed-wing
The certification proves that the crew of the ship is capable of
safely launching and recovering aircraft and is prepared to prevent
or combat flight deck mishaps.
The last time Enterprise conducted flight deck certification was
prior to her last deployment in 2007.
"Air department Sailors eagerly awaited the arrival of aircraft
during a long shipyard period, and to have aircraft back aboard is
the culmination of the crew's two years of hard work," said Senior
Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW/SW) Michael E.
Mappin, leading chief petty officer for Air department's V-1
division. "Every step of flight deck operations requires members of
Air department, the air wing and the crew to be successful."
To safely recover a jet, many personnel are required. From the
below-decks crew, to the culinary specialists, to the Bridge
watchstanders, to the plane captain, it's a team effort.
Launching aircraft is no different. The pilot of the aircraft
must rely on many Sailors from the squadron and ship in order to
complete a successful launch. The flight deck is one of the most
dangerous places in the world to work.
"So many things can go wrong and one misstep can bring
catastrophic results," said Mappin. "Everyone is shaking the rust
off, and with the limited time the air wing has had to practice
with the ship, it's basically been a team project of training and
learning," said Mappin. "Commander Naval Air Forces commended us on
our job, and that we are clearly ready to operate."
Flight deck certification requires a step-by-step completion
process. Enterprise and CVW-1 finished with flying colors.
"Enterprise has proven she is back in the fight," said Mappin.
Enterprise is underway for carrier qualifications in preparation
for her work-up phase and 21st deployment. [ANN Salutes Mass
Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristin M. Baker, USS Enterprise