CVN 77 completes weapons on-load with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Sandi Grimnes
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 1, 2010) – USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77) completed its initial weapons on-load with USNS ROBERT E. PEARY (T-AKE 5) Aug. 30 and USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) Aug. 31, in preparation for her maiden deployment next year.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH received approximately 2 million pounds of ordnance in the form of live and practice bombs, missiles and torpedoes, and their components during the two days of underway replenishments.
While along side the dry cargo and ammunition ship ROBERT E. PEARY, GEORGE H.W. BUSH received ordnance during a connected replenishment (CONREP), as MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 and HSC 26 delivered it to the flight deck in a vertical replenishment.
Helicopters from both squadrons delivered 840 lifts of ordnance from DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER to GEORGE H.W. BUSH Aug. 31, bringing the total numbering of ordnance lifts over the two-day evolution to more than 1,100.
“Both squadrons that we have on board did a remarkable job today,” said Commanding Officer, Capt. Chip Miller. “Everything was done with professionalism. This evolution could not have been any better. You guys rock.”
Once the ordnance landed on the flight deck, it was inventoried, sorted and staged in the hanger bay until it was placed in the proper magazines, said GEORGE H.W. BUSH Ordinance Handling Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Bunn F. Gray.
“We are bringing on all the assets needed to on go on deployment,” said Aviation Ordnancemen Airman (AW) Jhatyne N. Walker, an ammunition accountant from Weapons Department G-5. “We are getting everything the IKE has, plus we will have another small on-load for the stuff we didn’t get from the PEARY yesterday and the IKE today. It makes our ship what it is. It makes us warriors. Without our weapons, we are just a cruise ship.”
Combat Systems, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance, Security and Weapons Departments have all had major roles over the last two years ensuring that GEORGE H.W. BUSH met all required regulations to carry ammunition, Gray said. GEORGE H.W. BUSH has been completing certifications, qualifications and inspections to verify that the ship is structurally capable to account for, construct, store and transport ordnance safely.
“The level of effort, team work and motivation was outstanding today,” Gray said. “Excellent effort by everyone.”