CVW 5 Finishes Carrier Qualification Aboard USS George Washington

The nation’s “911” air wing completed carrier qualifications aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), June 30.

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 pilots must conduct and pass two to four successful day and night touch-and go and arrested gear landings aboard George Washington within 10 days of completing field carrier landing practice (FCLP) at Iwo To, Japan.

“Flying at Iwo To at night felt exactly like it does here on the carrier,” said Lt. Charlie Matykiewicz, a pilot of an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Royal Maces” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27. “Hearing the same voices that guide us for FCLP at Iwo To and carrier qualifications aboard [George Washington] definitely helps.”

Carrier air traffic control center (CATCC) personnel guide pilots during day and night flight operations. CVW-5 trains with the same controllers at Iwo To and aboard George Washington.

“What we do that is unique is our ability to bring CATCC personnel from [George Washington] out to Iwo To,” said Capt. Michael Boyle, commander, CVW-5. “The advantage of having the same controllers is the ability to have the exact same cadence and rhythm at Iwo To and aboard the ship. This allows us to compress the amount of time we need to qualify. In one night, we performed 87 arrested gear landings; this amount usually takes an entire day to complete.”

George Washington and CVW-5 are the first line of defense with the ability to deploy quickly and reach difficult locations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The goal is to continue to build confidence and trust among nations through collective security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests in an open, multi-polar world.

“We have to ensure that our skills remain at a high level of readiness,” said Boyle. “We train to be a deterrent. We project power from the sea to be able to respond at a short notice”

CVW-5’s nine squadrons are a critical combat strike element of Battle Force Seventh Fleet.

“It is one thing to say that George Washington is out there,” said Boyle. “It’s another to show and let our regional partners know we are real. We are out here to them a constant reminder that George Washington is committed to the Pacific.”

Beside FCLP and carrier qualifications, CVW 5 pilots are also trained in air-to-air, air-to-land and air-to-sea combat.

“I am excited to go on this tour,” said Matykiewicz. “Learning and understanding all of the strategies of being assigned to the [Forward Deployed Naval Forces] is a lot to know, but I am confident in my abilities to respond to anything that may happen.”

CVW-5 consists of VFA-102 flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet; VFA-27 flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet; VFA-115 flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet; VFA-195 flying the F/A-18E Super Hornets; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 flying the EA-18G Growler; Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115 flying the E-2C Hawkeye; Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, Detachment 5 flying the C-2A Greyhound; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 flying the MH-60S Seahawk; and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 flying the MH-60R Seahawk.

Press Release, July 3, 2013