NIMITZ COMPLETES SEA TRIALS, HOMEPORT CHANGE
By MCSA Vanessa David
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) arrived at its new homeport of Naval Station Everett, Wash., March 9 after spending nearly a week at sea conducting sea trials.
“The main objective was to make sure all systems and equipment worked properly following the extended yard period,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Webster, Nimitz Training Officer. “In addition to checking out major systems like the Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) fire fighting system and Close in Weapons System (CIWS), several training requirements, in areas such as Navigation and Damage Control were met.”
An additional goal of sea trials was to prepare the crew to operate the warship at sea, explained Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Dominique Anderson. “It gives Sailors the opportunity to actually see the responses that the equipment will have,” he said. “There’s a difference between running a simulation and actually running the plant. Everybody has responded positively to this experience.”
Nimitz met the set criteria for testing its equipment and procedures to include conducting high-power steering evolutions, tested the ship’s weapons and combat systems and conducted various damage control evolutions.
A Pre-Action Aim Calibration fire with its two newly installed CIWS systems was conducted March 7. “Firing the CIWS is (one of) the first significant evolutions since DPIA,” said Senior Chief Fire Controlman (SW/AW) Matthew Barry, Nimitz’ CS-7 division’s leading chief petty officer.
The crew’s damage control response capabilities were also put to the test in several general quarters evolutions during the underway period, during an AFFF test on the hangar bay and flight deck and through a flight deck countermeasure wash down.
“We were able to accomplish almost everything we needed to during this short period,” said Webster. “For the few things we couldn’t complete, we should be able to knock out during the next underway period.”
Before Nimitz left for sea trials, the ship had been in Bremerton for the past 15 months conducting a Docked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) where the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Intermediate Maintenance Facility and Ship’s crew completed a $239 million maintenance package that included upgrades to the carrier’s self-defense, combat, navigation and potable water systems.