USS George Washington Completes Sea Trials

USS George Washington Completes Sea Trials

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) returned to its homeport of Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka May 16, after completing sea trials.

Sea trials is the testing phase of a U.S. Navy warship designed to measure a vessel’s performance and general seaworthiness.

During this five-day evolution, George Washington completed drop tests on both anchors; conducted several aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) countermeasures drills and high-speed runs and rudder swing checks; as well as on-loaded both JP-5 jet fuel and various ordnance.

“Sea trials are where we put the past six months of maintenance to the test,” said Capt. David Lausman, USS George Washington commanding officer. “The crew worked extremely hard to make this warship the best in the Navy, and I could not be happier to see the way the crew and this ship have responded.”

George Washington’s Deck department spent the first day of sea trials conducting anchor drop tests that tested the durability and integrity of the ship’s two 30-ton anchors.

The anchor drop tests were conducted by 40 deck Sailors and involved lowering both anchors more than 60 feet to the sea below. These tests not only ensured the stability of the anchor and chain, but familiarized the crew with this dangerous evolution.

“This was the first time we released the anchor in quite some time,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class John McNeil, from Conway, S.C. “I feel that our Sailors gained a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge. And that will translate into them getting the job done faster and safer when they are called upon.”

George Washington was coated with foam from a chemical fire-fighting agent known as AFFF. This was a part of a two-day long test of the ship’s counter-measure washdown system conducted by the ship’s engineering department.

Over three football fields of AFFF covered the ship, but all hands picked-up brooms to join the ship’s air department and scrubbed the aircraft carrier from stem to stern.

George Washington also conducted rudder swing checks and high-speed runs to test not only the ship’s seaworthiness, but the crew’s ability to perform in extreme high seas conditions. The ship maneuvered approximately 60,000 tons of steel and traveled more than 30 knots while conducting sharp turns. George Washington also conducted a ‘raging bull’ maneuver that began with the ship moving at top speed and then braking to a complete stop.

The crew worked diligently for a full two days of replenishments-at-sea (RAS) and vertical replenishments (VERTREP) with the USNS Tippacanoe (T-AO-199) and USNS Earhart (T-AKE-6). The ship received more than 1.9 million gallons of JP-5 jet fuel and approximately 3.7 million pounds of ammunition.

Each department contributed to the ship’s overall mission readiness by conducting its own set of evolutions and tasks – including the ship’s Air department, which is preparing for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5’s arrival.

“We’re using our time wisely,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Yves Marlo Aguirre, from Manila, Philippines. “When we embark the air wing, we’ll be ready to go. “

CVW-5 will combine with George Washington to support U.S. 7th Fleet operations during its upcoming patrol.
The ship is working diligently to complete sea trials and pre-deployment preparations before returning to Yokosuka, Japan.

George Washington was commissioned July 4, 1992, and is the fifth of the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers exercise the Navy core capabilities of power projection, forward presence, humanitarian assistance, deterrence, sea control and maritime security.

Naval Today Staff , May 17, 2012; Image: navy