The 17th commanding officer of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) announced that the ship completed its 300,000th successful arrested landing.
The milestone was reached nearly 40 years after the first aircraft launched from the flight deck on September 15, 2017.
Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Spedero Jr. made the announcement On March 19.
“I appreciate being here to witness it and getting to be part of the team that made it happen,” said Cmdr. Jeremy Rifas, the ship’s air boss, who directs flight operations.
“Every landing on a ship is a very precise thing,” Rifas said. “When you get 300,000, it’s a pretty big testament to the skill of the aviators and the personnel who maintain the recovery equipment. It’s an incredible feat.”
During Ike’s deployment last year and through its recent training-related underway periods, the ship has maintained a consistent schedule of launching and recovering aircraft throughout the day and night.
“It shows the combat-ready history of the ship,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Gerard Dindial, leading chief petty officer of air department’s V-2 division, who is responsible for maintaining the steam catapults and arresting gear. “The primary mission of the ship is to launch and recover aircraft, so it’s very important that we can count on the equipment to recover them safely.”
That translates into long hours for V-2 Sailors, but it is a job they take great pride in and their Leading Petty Officer, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Marcus Snedeker said they impress him daily.
“Our Sailors work hard,” he said. “They work long hours to keep all the equipment running. For a ship to have done so much and still be running just fine, it shows that these Sailors know what they’re doing and how they knock it out of the park every day.”
Ike is currently underway conducting carrier qualifications during the sustainment phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP).