The US Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) has departed Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to carry out flight deck certification tests, among other training activities.
The flight deck certification procedures represent a major milestone in USS John C. Stennis' reintegration into the navy's fleet, following the vessel’s six-month planned incremental availability (PIA) maintenance period.
USS John C. Stennis catapult and arresting gear officer lieutenant Karl Schroeder said: “The flight deck certification process has been ongoing for many months now, beginning with an in-depth inspection of the air department, [and] leading to a vigorous drill routine and inspection that will culminate with certifying the ship for flight operations.
“The separate air department divisions will be assessed, ranging from refuelling aircraft, aircraft moves on both the flight deck and in the hanger bay, to launching and recovering aircraft through both day and night operations.”
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 aircraft and personnel conducted flight operations on-board the US Navy aircraft carrier for the first time in more than eight months as part of the trials.
The naval vessel is expected to undergo flight deck qualifications and other training activities following the completion of the certification.
CVN 74 previously underwent sea trials in August as part of its PIA, which were conducted to highlight the effectiveness of the carrier’s new, repaired and modernised systems.
The vessel has been designed to perform a wide range of operations such as sustained air operations, maritime interdiction, counter-piracy operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Image: The US Navy’s CVN 74 is underway to conduct flight deck certification, carrier qualification, and training for future operations. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy by mass communication specialist 3rd class Jake Greenberg / Released.