Gerald R. Ford Sailors Conduct Launch System Training

A few dozen Sailors from Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) have completed specialized training and stand ready to operate and maintain the US Navy’s newest aircraft launch system, slated to begin shipboard testing this summer.

Naval Air and Naval Sea System Commands — along with industry partner General Atomics (GA) — developed a comprehensive training program for Ford’s PCU Air Department catapult and arresting gear V-2 division leadership and Sailors who will be part of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems (EMALS) test program. The first crew graduated October 2014 from the GA-led course in Rancho Bernardo, California. Two additional PCU groups completed training sessions at the full-scale EMALS System Functional Demonstration site at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey in February and March.

The EMALS training team has scheduled additional test site training sessions for late 2015 and early 2016.

CVN 78 will be conducting a series of tests launching dead-loads, or weighted sleds representative of aircraft, into Virginia’s James River beginning this summer. This is one of many critical test events as the system continues on the path toward shipboard certification.

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Image: US Navy