Members assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to ensure the ship and its aircraft’s Precision Approach Landing System (PALS) and Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS) are operating at their full capabilities, Feb. 1.
Normally the VX-23 crew will maintain both systems before a ship departs for deployment and upon its return to homeport, but due to the length of Carl Vinson’s current deployment, experts felt the need to inspect Vinson’s systems before the ship returned home.
Lt. Matthew Dominick, VX-23 Carrier Suitability Department project officer, said:
This was a very unique opportunity for NAVAIR [Naval Air Systems Command] and the ship. We were able to conduct flight tests while having no impact on the ship’s mission readiness and its support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
During their visit, the team conducted 21 fully automatic coupled landings with a 100 percent completion rate.
Kevin Nolin, NAVAIR Patuxent River senior technical specialist, said:
Complex pieces of equipment such as these require a unique amount of maintenance. If we receive news that the systems aren’t as accurate as they should be, we have the capacity and experience to address and fix any problem that may arise. We are confident that both systems will be fully functional throughout the duration of the ship’s current deployment.
The visit also served as an opportunity for the ship’s technicians to receive first-hand training from specialists with extensive knowledge and experience in both systems.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is currently conducting flight operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Image: US Navy