Pierside Simulations Will Lead To Sea Qualifications
Sailors aboard USS Independence (LCS 2), the Navy's newest
littoral combat ship, prepared to embark aircraft aboard the ship
by conducting simulated training April 6 and 7 in a variety of
situations involving aircraft operations, while in port at Naval
Station Mayport, FL.
The training, led by a staff of training personnel from the
Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON), brings both rotational
crews aboard Independence a step closer to earning their
certification to conduct aviation operations at sea. "This training
is about ensuring that the crew is proficient in all the procedures
involved in handling aircraft aboard a ship," said Chief Aviation
Boatswain's Mate (handling) Marcus Aguirre of LCSRON. "We are here
to assist the crew and ensure they are prepared to get it right
when it counts."
The training simulated routine aircraft operations such as
helicopter launch, landing and refueling. The crew also practiced
responding to circumstances as extreme as removing personnel from a
crashed helicopter and extinguishing a fire on the flight deck.
"Helicopters are vital to the mission of LCS because they extend
our ability to monitor and manipulate the surrounding environment,"
said Chief Boatswain's Mate Joseph Wilson, one of the senior
members of the "blue crew" team of Independence Sailors being
trained. "By training everyday…it builds our confidence by
building our muscle memory for when we are faced with the real
One of the most crucial portions of the training is personnel
"Immediate medical first-responder treatment could mean the
difference between life and death for the pilot and passengers,"
said the "blue crew" independent duty corpsman aboard Independence,
Chief Hospital Corpsman Tricia Loomis. "The first responders must
be ready to treat everything from burns to broken bones to
life-threatening smoke inhalation injuries that could compromise
the airway. It is essential they are familiar with appropriate
triage [procedures] to ensure the most immediate injuries and
casualties are treated first."
Independence is scheduled to complete their final aviation
readiness qualification for both blue and gold crews later this
Independence, a high-speed aluminum trimaran that departed the
Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, AL, March 26, is a fast, agile,
mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval
technology. The ship is specifically designed to defeat anti-access
threats in shallow, coastal water regions, including surface craft,
diesel submarines and mines. LCS features an interchangeable
modular design that allows the ship to be reconfigured to meet