Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) make the prevention of aircraft damage a priority.
“Complacency Crunch” is a common term in George Washington’s aviation department that refers to damage sustained by aircraft or ground support equipment that is often caused by a lapse in judgement.
“It’s all about a Sailor’s attention to detail,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class James Whitehead, from Miami, Florida, who has been monitoring George Washington’s flight operations for more than a year, “The aviation community doesn’t cut any corners.”
Sailors train and frequently review safety procedures to prevent these costly errors.
“We’re always reviewing past mistakes,” said Whitehead. “Every error gets recorded, and we look at what went wrong and what could have been done to prevent the problem to ensure that we’re getting better as a team.”
The training also emphasizes that Sailors repeatedly check each step of the aviation department’s safety protocols.
“I always try to look out for my Sailors first and my assets second,”said Whitehead. “I ensure my Sailors and I are safe while we protect some of the most valuable equipment aboard the ship-aircraft.”
Safety and a Sailor’s attention to detail thus take precendence over speed for Whitehead.
“I would rather avoid rushing and take my time to get the job done right the first time rather than hustle through and have to go back to clean up costly mistakes,” said Whitehead.
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Press Release, May 29, 2014; Image: US Navy