USS Iwo Jima wraps up type command sea trials

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) completed Type Command (TYCOM) Readiness Evaluation Five (RE-5) sea trials, February 5, 2020, the U.S. Navy said.

Image by US Navy

Sea trials are conducted after Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV) to test operational capabilities of equipment that was corrected over the last year during the yard period, and to train sailors on how to operate gear, so that the ship can meet all of its warfare mission areas and be ready for any exercise or operation that might come up.

“Sea trials is a milestone in the life cycle of the ship, particularly coming out of the maintenance phase,” said Scott Brickner, Iwo Jima’s operations officer.

“It gives us an opportunity to validate the status of our equipment to make sure that it operates properly as designed, and if we do have some shortfalls, we can make sure that they get corrected.”

The ship completed engineering equipment evolutions and tested combat systems equipment and operational equipment.

“Our crew has been fantastic,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Castillo, Iwo Jima’s damage control assistant.

“The ramp up from what we’ve done in November to where we are now is almost unprecedented in the amphibious fleet. We certainly had our challenges but we responded, and now it’s just working the time that we need to fix these issues so we can get through the training cycle and get this ship certified.”

Iwo Jima is scheduled to go through a basic training phase.

“We have to get through the training cycle and get all of these maintenance issues worked out, operate our gear, get the ship certified for taking amphibious craft and taking aircraft,” said Castillo.

“Once we are certified, then we can be a ready ship and be a capital asset to the United States Navy.”