The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) was assessed by Carrier Strike Group 4 (CSG 4) on two live-fire exercises on Oct. 1-2 during a multi-lateral interoperability training at sea.
To prepare for the event, Truman’s live fire teams completed several drills during previous underways and during the time in port.
“As soon as the evolution begins, the expectation of Sailors is to be expeditious in their manning, as soon as the evolution begins ,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Nicholas Reece, the weapons department G-2 division leading petty officer. “They must fully man .50-caliber gun mounts and be ready to fire as soon as possible.”
Multiple departments onboard were assessed on their response time in the event of a surface attack. Weapons department Sailors manned the .50-caliber machine guns, while security Sailors manned the M-240 weapons in Small Caliber Action Teams (SCAT). Combat systems (CS-7) Sailors also raced to their positions to operate the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
Chief Master-at-Arms Brenda Brooks, the security department’s training lead chief petty officer, acted as the Anti-terrorism Tactical Watch Officer (ATTWO) for the second event during the two day evolution.
“Teamwork is very important in these evolutions because we definitely have to rely on one another,” said Brooks. “There’s no set teams. Everyone is expected to know all positions and the gunners rely very heavily on the “A” gunner for spotting, reloading, safety, and to even make sure we are actually hitting our target.”
CIWS technicians in CS-7 are required to be on station to accurately engage air or surface contacts.
“The CIWS is the last line of defense for the ship,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Brian May, the combat systems, CS-7 CIWS work center supervisor. “The CIWS is designed to fire 4,500 rounds per minute for air contacts, and 3,000 rounds per minute for surface contacts.”
For the second day of this assessment, this last line of defense was not necessary as the “hostile” target boat was taken down by from security and weapons department peronnel.
“There’s a big difference between shooting a crew served weapon that’s on land, and a crew served weapon on a mount while underway,” said Brooks. “It’s important for our Sailors to get used to the shifting of the ship at sea, and also using something other than water to give you a target range. It’s a little tricky, but I think they have a lot of fun with it.”
Truman received a passing assessment for the live fire response teams aboard and the ship can sleep safely knowing our gunners are fast, accurate and capable.
Truman is operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
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