USS Theodore Roosevelt’s (CVN 71) flight-deck Sailors participated in a simulated emergency aircraft landing during a fast cruise August 22, in Newport News, Va.
Theodore Roosevelt’s Air Department Training Team (ADTT) facilitated the flight-deck drill simulating a barricade and crash and salvage response to practice time-critical operational risk management and situational adaptability.
“We’re simulating a last resort response to assisting a plane landing on the flight deck as safely as possible when the landing gear has failed,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alonzo Wells, Theodore Roosevelt’s arresting gear and catapult boatswain. “As soon as the air boss calls away ‘five minutes stand by,’ everyone needs to be ready to get our barricade up to slow down the plane’s movement.”
After a plane crashes into the barrier and stops, the crash and salvage team responds immediately to manage the fire and save the pilot.
“We can’t tow the plane out of the way since the landing gear doesn’t work,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Jeremy C. Bliss, the assistant leading petty officer of the crash and salvage team. “So we have to combat any fire from the plane crash and pull the pilot out of harm’s way while not becoming a casualty as well.”
ADTT training builds a foundation for all Sailors to respond to casualties in the most timely and efficient manner possible.
“Time-critical operational risk management is what keeps us alive and still doing our job when we don’t have the luxury of time on our side,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Marcus J. Stewart, Theodore Roosevelt’s aircraft launch and recovery equipment maintenance chief. “We need to be able to respond in the blink of an eye, so we continuously drill to keep our response to casualties like second nature.”
No flight-deck emergency is the same so Sailors train to be adaptable.
“Sailors from every division in Air department participate in these drills,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Dustin R. Shead. “We are always on standby to respond to any casualty during all flight evolutions. That is why we constantly drill to, not only perform our jobs to the highest level, but also our shipmates’ job too if someone gets hurt in the process.”
Effective and efficient response to flight-deck emergencies is a core capability of Theodore Roosevelt’s Air department Sailors. ADTT’s top-notch training exercises maintain these Sailor’s readiness, adaptability and capabilities.
Press Release, August 26, 2013