After 22 days of crew integration, participation in Tailored Ship’s Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP) and near non-stop flight operations, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 is heading ashore after departing USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Nov. 1.
“The TSTA/ FEP underway was extremely crucial to building the relationship between the [Truman] and CVW-1 teams that will be vital to our success on deployment,” said Commander, CVW-1, Capt. John Perrone. “As the ship and airwing have never worked together previously, this underway period provided us the opportunity to build basic integration as well as some fundamental practice in carrier operations.”
As Truman executed its longest underway since the ship’s successful maintenance period, this was the first time all nine squadrons that make up CVW-1 embarked at the same time to conduct flight operations.
“It’s absolutely critical that we have this time to work out all of the kinks, and make sure that everybody gets to know each other,” said Cmdr. Chris Swanson, Truman’s Air Department principal assistant or “Mini Boss.” “That way, [in the future] everything is seamless and we can rely on each other to get the job done.”
It will be roughly three months before Truman and CVW-1 reunite to complete further training and certifications during their Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX).
“With any event or evolution, we like to take the crawl, walk, run approach,” added Swanson. “We’re kind of in the walk phase, practicing a ton of exercises and getting proficient at the basics so that when we do come to COMPTUEX and there are more complex problems, we are ready to execute from day one.”
Although they are home, time away from the Truman will be no rest period for CVW-1’s squadrons. They will proceed to the advanced phase of optimized fleet response plan by executing training at Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, for the fixed-wing and rotary aircraft during November and December, Perrone added.
“I think everybody has done really well,” said Swanson. “We’re really starting to build that team and I think that we’re going to see great success in the future.”
During this underway, Truman and CVW-1 accumulated approximately 1,350 fixed-wing launches and recoveries, and 270 helicopter sorties. Truman also received 2.1 million gallons of jet fuel during underway replenishments and issued 2.2 million gallons to CVW-1 via more than 1,000 fueling evolutions.
“I believe this underway was tremendous,” added Swanson. “It was a good learning experience for everyone. For us it was good for the flight deck team and the air department to get their legs back under them and hit the ground running.”