T-45 Pilots Train Aboard Truman

Instructors from Training Air Wing (TRAWING) 1 and TRAWING 2 concluded Carrier Qualifications flying Boeing T-45C Goshawks aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Sept. 16-17.

This evolution allowed Truman Sailors to practice launching and recovering aircraft while preparing instructors, and instructors under training, to teach the Navy's newest pilots.

"This is the instructors' initial carrier qualification in the T-45 as an instructor," said Lt. Cmdr. Ronnie Dale Stahl Jr.

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Lt. Cmdr. Stahl is a landing signal officer in charge of the overall safety aspect of the initial carrier qualification program for the Navy.

"While the students are in the air, we will fly about 2,000 to 5,000 feet above them," said Stahl. "This way we can manage their flight pattern from the air and ensure they are taking the proper turns and safety precautions."

Along with the inherent dangers and difficulties of flight operations, carrier qualifications test Truman's ability to work together as a team.

"For our actual first integration, it was awesome," Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Aircraft Handling) Jason Baty. "We went to the ready rooms, discussed safety concerns, had safety briefs, we did flight deck familiarization briefs and it was a great team effort as far as safety."

Sailors from several departments were involved in the launch and recovery of aircraft. List control, steam for the catapults, navigation and steering of the ship, and radar maintenance and operation came together to conduct successful flight operations.

"While the pilots in training are in the air, we maintain communication to provide the ship's heading and weather conditions," said Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Michael Nelis, Case 1 weather condition supervisor in the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center. "This is important because pilots in training can only land during Case 1 conditions. This is their first time recovering on a ship so we don't want to put them in a dangerous situation. We practice this with the instructors to make sure we are prepared for when the students come aboard."

Intense training played a key role in the success of this evolution and the safety of all its participants.

"Everyone was on the same page as far as expectations," said Baty. "That's the number one thing we want. We want everyone to be on the same page and we want an open line of communication."

The requalification process involved approximately 28 instructors from four squadrons; the "Eagles" of Training Squadron 7 and the "Tigers" of Training Squadron 9 from Meridian, Mississippi, and the "Fighting Redhawks" of Training Squadron 21 and the "Golden Eagles" of Training Squadron 22 from Kingsville, Texas. Over two days they combined to complete a total of 112 traps and 56 "touch and goes".

Truman is currently underway conducting Carrier Qualifications in preparation for future operations.

Source: US Navy
Date: Sep 19, 2017